It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Adventures in Blurriness

I love sitting on my porch in the early morning, before the tots arrive. I’ll get out there at six, some mornings, with a cup of tea and a book. Sometimes with my laptop. And I listen to the birds, and enjoy the sunshine, and savour the peace.

Because lord knows it won’t last.

So that’s what I was doing yesterday morning. Sitting in the sun on the bottom step, glasses pushed up into my hair, tea at the ready, re-reading “The Cure for Death by Lightning”. (Nice thing about have NO MEMORY: I can read a book over and over — and still be surprised by the ending!!)

And then it’s 6:45 and time to move inside and get on with my pre-work chores. (My pre-work chores. That’d be the work I do before I start working?) I close my book, stand, turn to ascend the steps, reaching with one hand for my glasses atop my head, and …


My glasses were not atop my head. That was a hairband. My glasses are (now) beneath my foot.

Those of you who wear glasses will appreciate the wave of panic that washed over me. They are a sad sight. One arm bent up, the nosepiece twisted, one lens lying popped right out of the frame. They were a sad, sad sight.

And now I have to work — BLIND. Okay, not blind. But close. Do I have a backup pair? Well, I have my old pair, but the prescription has changed, and if I wear them for more than 10 minutes at a stretch, I will have killer headaches.


BUT! My optometrist has an optician onsite. I can pop in any time and they will fix it. Takes ten minutes. (How do I know this? No, I do not make a habit of stomping on my hundreds-of-dollars eyewear. I have teens who wear glasses, specifically a teenage boy. Nuff said.)

BUT! I have five children due within the hour and no car. I am NOT taking five children out on the bus downtown to the optometrist. NOT because of the logistics of five toddlers on a bus, though lord only knows that’s challenging enough. But because I’d be tackling the challenge BLIND. Well, blurry.


BUT! I do have a neighbour. A lovely, civic-minded, neighbourly neighbour who works shifts and might just be free during the day to drive me to the optometrist. With a car, it’ll be a matter of half an hour.

AND! I have a young teen in the house. If I let the parents know I’ll leave her in charge, I might be able to pop out of the house during naptime. BUT she’s young, only 13, so it’ll be their call whether they’ll leave their child or pick him/her up.

Four opt to leave child. One opts to pick up. Good. That’s sorted.

AND! Lovely neighbour says sure, no problem, he can drive me downtown. YES!!

So I bumble through the morning in a blurred and foggy world.

“Are we going outside today, Mary?” The questions rebounds repeatedly, because, hey, we ALWAYS go outside — and we’re NOT! What’s with THAT? Toddlers are huge creatures of habit. (In case you hadn’t noticed that. It’s a pearl of Mary wisdom.)

“Are we going outside today?”

“No, lovie, we’re not. Mary broke her glasses, and she can’t see.”

“But I can see.”

“So you can, but I need to see you.”

I can’t take them out that door. The thought of trying to monitor five small, fast-moving blurry little blobs of colour is unnerving in the extreme. I wouldn’t notice the limb that had been lopped off until I stepped on it.

No, we are not going outside.

But, at 1:00, just as the one abstaining child is being picked up, my ride arrives. YAY for neighbourly neighbours!! He’s knocking at the door and tot and mom pass through it. Tot looks up. Waaay up.

“Why is a police man taking Mary away?”

Because yes, neighbourly neighbour is indeed an officer of the law. His position is such that he doesn’t always wear the uniform, but today he’s in full dark blue, gun belt, cap, and all. Thankfully his rank and position mean that he drives an unmarked car, but he’s definitely a cop.

“Because Mary has been very, very bad.”

NO, I didn’t say that. I just thought it. Heehee.

At the optometrist, I’m flipping through magazines waiting for the optician to work her magic in the back room. Slowly, I become aware that there’s a bit of a flurry behind the reception desk. The three girls back there are buzzing excitedly about something or other.

“He’s been just sitting there, for at least five minutes.”
“Oooo. I’ll bet it’s that restaurant. I always said there was something besides food being dealt there.”
“Think it’s a stake-out???”

These girls watch too much television.

I hope they’re watching when I skip across the street and hop into the passenger side. What will they make of THAT, I wonder? Am I an undercover cop? Am I a hardened criminal? Who knows what drama they’ll spin for mild-mannered Mary.


All in all, it was an eventful day.

And now I can SEE!!!

YAY for neighbourly neighbours!

June 12, 2008 Posted by | health and safety, Ottawa, random and odd | 10 Comments