Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Afton's New Glasses

Afton got glasses when she was just 3 years old. Most parents figure out their toddlers need glasses because their eyes are crossing or they have a lazy eye. Afton had neither she just always liked to watch TV really close and was always putting her face right up close to the books at story time. When I took her to the optometrist they were, of course, happy to do an eye exam but doubtful that anything was wrong. "She probably just likes to see how shapes change when she's closer" they reasoned.

We were both shocked when her vision test came back absolutely positively terrible. The doc quickly backpedaled on the earlier statement and said in awe, "I've never had a kid come in with such bad vision without being cross-eyed. She has very strong eye muscles."

I sure was glad I followed my intuition and got the check-up. Once she got the glasses, however, I was a little heartbroken. She looked so different! The glasses made her big beautiful eyes look HUGE. I was worried that she looked nerdy and that others would make fun of her. My friends reassured me that at least now she'd be able to see. In time I got used to the glasses and she has been through many pairs since.

For the past year I have been putting off getting her new glasses-- I was worried about the expense with our new insurance. But she really needed new ones. Her old glasses were scratched and no longer sat straight on her face. They were really bugging her. So, finally at the beginning of January she convinced me to take her in for some new glasses. We set a date, arranged for her siblings to do something and she and I set out to check out the glasses at Costco.

Costco doesn't accept insurance but my insurance company will reimburse a Costco purchase up to $45 for frames and $45 for lenses. The Costco glasses come with UV and scratch coats and cost$49 for the polycarbonate lenses (safer for kids) and the frames range in price from $49-$89, not bad! Costco doesn't have many frames to choose from for kids but Afton had no trouble finding a pair that she liked. They were a cute solid black frame, small and square. But just as we were about to order them she suddenly chickened out. "I want to see the frames at the optometrist," she declared, "I just want to be sure I'm choosing the right ones."

Who can argue with that? We walked out of Costco and drove to the optometrists office. Nobody noticed.

Our optometrist is Dr Erik Hartman in Tacoma. He has a nice little office by TCC with friendly office staff and he and his wife are long time friends (I used to babysit their kids). When we walked in they were happy to see us and gladly spent about a half hour talking us through our purchase decision. Tracy understands my need/desire to penny pinch and did her best to find me the best glasses for the money. She reminded me that though the insurance would reimburse me I was still going to have to pay a $25 deductible AND insurance allows the optometrist more than it would reimburse for a Costco purchase.

She also spent a few minutes talking me out of the solid frame glasses for Afton reminding me how many times her first pair of glasses cost to replace and fix; that's why we've gotten the bendable frames every time since. Tracy was right, Afton sleeps in her glasses, plays soccer and is a very active kid, solid frame glasses would not be the best buy even if they were initially cheaper.

Tracy and Afton spent about twenty minutes sorting through the small assortment of kids sized bendable frames until Afton spotted the perfect glasses with argyle sides! She was instantly in love. PLUS, they came with a pair of magnetized clip on sun glasses!!!! They quickly measured her face and wrote up the order and then, just as we were about to finalize it all she said, "Wait! we didn't look at bendables at Costco! We need to go back and check, they might be cheaper!"

Who can argue with that? We walked out of the optometrists office and drove to Costco. Tracy understood.

The Costco assortment of bendables was indeed cheaper than the ones at the optometrists office BUT they didn't have cute argyle AND they didn't have sunglasses. We were only really paying a few bucks more for those extras. The decision was easy, she knew what she wanted. Before we even got out of Costco Afton was grabbing my cell phone and calling Tracy at Dr. Hartman's office. She completed her order right then and there.

A few weeks later we got the call that the glasses were in. We went in to pick them up and get the necessary adjustments. Tracy wasn't in that day so the staff took a picture of Afton in her beautiful new specs. Their perfect!


  1. same thing happened to us with my son in his right eye 20/200 half blind! i get his glasses super cheap and good quality at zennioptical.com you just have to know the prescription.

  2. I have a great glasses resource for you! They are not having a sale right now, but have had two in the past 4 months, so it's sure to come up again. My son is famous for losing his glasses, and even though we can get a new free pair every year, I needed backups. The online deal is Buy One (for $19.99!) Get One Free, and free shipping! I know it's hard to believe, but it's true. The catch is that you have to pick from their special selection -- so, the frames might not be your first choice, but still pretty fashionable! So, keep her prescription on hand, and I'll remind you next time they are running their sale. http://www.eyebuydirect.com/

  3. Afton looks so grown up. When did this happen?


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