My boys don’t do very well managing the accessories of their lives. I’m not talking matching socks and shirts or wearing dashing little outfit accessories that complete their look. I’m talking about accessories that add value to life, but also add responsibility and change.
Willy recently got glasses to help him see. Just in case we needed proof—aside from not being able to see the board and headache complaints, and the optometrist’s expertise—Willy’s bowling game jumped by 30 – 50 points his first time back with glasses. That’s three to five whole sets of pins. So, his glasses have a pretty dramatic impact on the quality of his vision.
The problem is that Willy often forgets to put his glasses on. He claims he can’t tell the difference between when he’s wearing his glasses and when he’s not, so he tends to forget them. Perhaps it’s that my eye sight has been so much worse than his for so long, but I can’t imagine not being able to tell I’m not wearing my glasses. For one, my skin is so sensitive that I can’t help but know. I can feel them. I feel the pressure behind my ears and on the sides of my nose. Of course, I can’t read very well without my glasses, because the letters get all blurry. As you might imagine, I spend a lot of time reading, so that’s a big hint. I can’t imagine not knowing whether my glasses are there, so wrapping my head around his problem of not remembering to put his glasses on because he can’t tell the difference—I’m not doing so well with that. My most successful solution thus far is to put a sign asking him if he remembered his glasses over his shoes (which I set out each night before school). He goes to put his shoes on, and he sees the sign and puts his glasses on first. This keeps both of us from forgetting in the early morning busyness.
Life is full of accessories. As the driver in the family, I usually have to remember my keys whenever I leave—and remember them again whenever I leave the car. I’ve had to break into my own house, with three squalling toddlers and an infant in tow—because I left my keys in the house, so I couldn’t unlock my car and had already locked the house. Of course, the times when this happened I was on my way to pick up Mark, so it’s not like he could unlock the door for me. So, remembering is a necessity, so I have developed habits to help me—usually involving leaving them in my purse except when in use and checking to make sure they’re where I left them before leaving the house/car.
So, how do you manage life’s accessories? What tricks have you learned to help yourself or your children?