Maisy’s New Glasses: Battle of the Wills

IMG_3060A few facts before I share with you a teen daughter parenting story.

1. Maisy is not materialistic in the least. In fact, I would describe her style as “consignment grunge.” No further comment needed.
2. She is now a pescatarian.
3. I am not a good “follow-through” parent. In other words, I cave–often.

So, last week we went to LensCrafters (quite possibly the WORST retail establishment in the world–more on that in a different post) to pick up glasses for Sam. While we were waiting (and waiting,) Maisy was browsing frames and came across a pair she had wanted for the last two years.

She raced over screeching as she showed them to me. “Mom please please can I have these??? They are the ones I wanted two years ago! PLEASE?”

I looked at her earnest face and thought about the huge style statement the toothpaste blue frames would make and agreed.

Well, the unaccomodating folks at LensCrafters would not take a scanned version of her eye glass script. They needed a hard copy.

So, we went for it. I drove 12 minutes down the road to pick up the script and drove back to LensCrafters. She sat in the chair while the sales lady used her acrylic nails to punch numbers into the computer. Then, she put Maisy’s face and the frames in a robotic appearing contraption which took a digital photo of her freakishly big eyeballs. More keys were punched with impractically long nails. Frames were dropped a few times and finally my credit card was summoned.

“That will be $572.00 please.”


Now acrylic nails lady feels she needs to be condescending.

“Ma’am, these are Bvulgari frames you know. That is a very famous designer.”

I wanted to tell her that I was fully aware of who and what Bvulgari was. I was about to invite her into my bathroom linen closet where I hoard bottle after bottle of Bvulgari Eau de Tea Body Lotion for fear it will be discontinued before I die when Maisy spoke.

“Mom, I know that’s a lot but…I will work..;I will babysit…I will pay you back I PROMISE!”

In the end, I just could not justify it. I even called Chris sort of hoping he would say “Go for it! She’s a great kid!” But no. As I expected, he choked on his tea and went on a tirade about commercialism and first world problems and our kids needing to do mission work.

Acrylic nails lady took her frames back with a huff and we scuttled out..Maisy sniffling.

We agreed that if she could find the frames cheaper on line, we would consider it.

Within a few days the same exact authentic Bvlgari frames appeared on our doorstep–at half the price. Maisy shrieked with delight and ran upstairs to plan her “new-glasses-debut-outfit.

While the frames were getting the lenses placed by none other than acrylic nail lady, I cooked a Monday night dinner of homemade crabcakes in honor of my Pescatarian-Bvalgari-glasses-wearing rock star kid.

She came down chipper as can be and announced. “That smells great Mom!”

That’s when it happened. It turns out she had never eaten crab cakes and—apparently decided she did not care for them.

I was pissed.

As she pushed the miniature crabcake around her plate my fury mounted then overflowed.


I heard her soliloquy about injustice then.. “I know what you are trying to do Mom and I appreciate it but….”

She appreciates it? My futile effort to parent? Wrong thing to say. Now my brain was frozen. No mountain, natural disaster or act of God was moving me to pick those glasses up as long as there was a single crumb of crab on that kid’s plate.

She saw it in my eyes. We were locked. Five minutes felt like an hour.

With a great deal of pomp she pushed back her chair and brought her crabcake holding plate to the counter.

She looked at me and shook her head at the sadness of it all. As she stomped upstairs, I hid in the pantry and called Chris. He didn’t answer so I had to leave a message.

“Uh. Here is the situation….. Not sure…should I really tie crabcakes to her glasses? Make her eat something else? I think it’s too late…I’m in pretty deep…call me…help me. Love you.” Click.

I slipped the phone into my apron pocket as I washed the dishes praying he would call me back before she came back down. I could hear muffled sobs coming from her room.

I was about to head up and do what I do best: give in, when she appeared eyes swollen. Wordlessly, she picked up an empty clean plate and placed a new crab cake on it. She then sat down and in four bites consumed it while grimacing. After washing her mouth out with cold milk she walked over to me and put her head on my shoulder. “Sorry Mom. I love you.”

Later, Chris pecked me on the forehead with a kiss and said “Sorry I missed your call….what was that all about?”

Psh. Nevermind dear. I handled it.

Accidental parenting victory is a victory nonetheless.


  1. Victory indeed! Hold your ground tough lady :) Did I ever tell you once that child researchers find teenagers to have a component similar to toddlers in their emotional development? Just as a toddler touches everything “hot” so that you tell them “no hot” forty thousand times and they learn all that can be hot – a teenager will push the same issue forty thousand times. The effort is not to get what they want all the time. The effort is deep seated like a toddler, they want to know that you care. They don’t even know they are doing that. It’s like Nemo – will you care if I touch “the butt”? So excellent! Standing your ground proves that you give a flip and that indeed is worth celebrating.

  2. Cathi Thompson says:

    I LOVED this…I can so relate as I am a “caver” too. I felt everything you were going through right to the end!! Thank God Maisey “caved” and realized the sacrifices you made….it was a “thank God” moment!!! Who said parenting is easy….at any age!!?! Your still the best! Thanks for my morning enlightenment!!

  3. I appreciate how open you are with your life. Your willingness to personalize yourself and your vulnerabilities is what makes you an amazing doctor, and, I’m quite certain, an amazing mom.

  4. “the toothpaste blue frames” and ” Acrylic nails lady”
    you are very good at this…writing….you can paint a huge clear and complete picture of an event by using 2 or 3 words….I do enjoy reading your stories.

  5. I love reading these Christine!

    Your stories are all vivid and detailed, and emotionally appeal to the reader. This is some good stuff.

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