Strabismus confirmed. Glasses ordered.

Didn't you know? Cool characters wear glasses.

Didn't you know? Cool characters wear glasses. And have yogurt on their faces.

On Thursday afternoon, Stella’s eyes started rolling in again. All our questions evaporated. She has emerging accommodative esotropia. She really needs glasses. And that’s that.

So on Friday morning, we skipped Gymboree and went to find specs for Stella. She tried on three pairs.

Go ahead and judge me–I’ve watched “Say Yes to the Dress” once or twice. And our trip to the optical shop, in the Children’s Eye Care office in Kirkland, was a lot like that show. Except instead of catty commentary in the air and mimosas in our hands, there was extremely enthusiastic, high-pitched encouragement and a light-up spinning ball wand (which, somehow, is almost as intoxicating as OJ and bubbly).

The first and second pairs were total disappointments. Which in hindsight was perfect. Great for building suspense (and ratings). And then, as if scripted, we found the ones. They are French and fabulous. They are blue (also clear, white, purple and green) and if I described them in any detail, they would just sound crazy and over-the-top. But they are not. They work. Tim Gunn would most definitely approve–in fact, I bet he’d be super jealous. I am. As soon as the optician put those beauties on Stella’s face, she and I both knew. We just knew. We didn’t cry tears of joy, but we should have. Because audiences eat that up.

Her Parisian pair will be ready on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, barring any issues. You will want to wear glasses if you don’t. You may even view Stella as a budding fashion icon.* Stay tuned for the big reveal!

* All of this is assuming I’m able to get the glasses on her face for more than three seconds (the current record during try-ons).

Let them eat sugar

I took newly 17-month-old Stella out for ice cream last week. Just me and her. There was no special occasion other than “mama needs ice cream NOW.”  We headed out on foot at around 7pm to sneak in our treat before her 7:30 bath (which, of course, didn’t happen until 7:45). On the “walk” home, she stopped between wind sprints to request “more more more.” I happily served her bites of my mouthwatering masterpiece: perfectly salted caramel and rich chocolate Molly Moon’s ice cream in a waffle cone made two minutes before we ate it. I didn’t even mind sharing, until I realized she’d finished the salted caramel, leaving only chocolate and destroying the dessert’s mindblowing salty-sweet synergy. Really, the outing itself was a treat that instantly turned into a sweet memory.

So imagine my reaction to an increasingly popular declaration being made on mommy blogs lately: “My toddler eats no sugar or white flour whatsoever.

First thought? Sheer defensiveness. Then, “WHAT DID YOUR POOR TODDLER DO TO DESERVE THIS???” Lemme tell ya, I gave up dairy for two and half months in a last-ditch effort to make breastfeeding work, and it eroded my soul. I’m 27% more evil now. Had I been forced to give up sugar and white flour too, which to me means insanely sexy chocolate and crusty loaves of French or Italian baked goodness, I would not be here today. With no caloric or emotional reserves to draw from, no boost from my extra special favorite foods, the breast pump would’ve eventually worn me down to a pathetic pulp. The way our dryer would wear down my jeans if I put them through an unrelenting tumble cycle every three hours for two and a half months straight.

Maybe it’s because I just finished reading “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan, which I highly recommend as an enlightening antidote to our need to control and monitor everything we eat. Maybe it’s because for a few hellacious months, my baby refused to eat and required a feeding tube. In the process of helping her learn to embrace and enjoy eating, I had to let go of my own lingering fear and anxiety around food. (Fear is likely behind parental sugar bans, by the way.) Whatever the reason may be, I find sugar-free righteousness to be ridiculous, unrealistic, unhelpful and practically inhuman. Mark my words: An all-out sugar ban will backfire.

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