The future's so bright…

October 19, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 195 views

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The first thing Spaniards notice about Nora is the color of her eyes, as only a very small percentage of the Spanish population has blue eyes. Unfortunately, this means she is also very sensitive to direct sunlight.1 When we go outside and sunlight hits her face, she squirms and cries. I feel her pain. A larger-than-I’d-like-to-think-about percentage of my childhood group photos with classes and sports teams features my scrunched up squinting face.

We consulted the doctor on when it’s appropriate to buy a kid some sunglasses. She told us that six months was awfully young, but that if you wait until ten months, it’ll be hard to keep them on. Meaning that when a kid is older, they are more aware of how they are used to being outdoors and will dislike the change, but if you sneak them in early and they get accustomed to wearing them, then it’s easier later on. So the other day I bought Nora some sunglasses…and I must say, when we put them on her, she’s one cool cat.

The future's so bright...
Got a bright future.

My future's so bright...
Yo yo yo! I thought she was gonna whip off a bebop scat rhythm.

My future's so bright...
Put that camera down and let’s get this buggy on the road, Jack! This thing don’t push itself!

1The concept that fair-eyed people are more sensitive to light is often repeated, but Marga pointed out the other day that it’s not entirely clear why that should be. It seems easily like something that could have been made up and then taken advantage of by us wimpy fair-eyed folks. An internet search turned up this medical journal article that apparently you have to pay to read. From what I can gather, the hypothesis is that the same Rayleigh scattering that makes blue eyes (and the sky) blue also means that more of the light is bouncing around inside the eye causing more irritation than for those people with more opaque irises. I’ve asked Aardvark for more information, but I’m not too hopeful. Any more theories or explanations about why blue-eyed folks are more squinty?

 
  • http://www.smattery.com/blog andrea

    I don’t know the science behind it, but as a blue-eyed person I do feel like I’m much more sensitive to light than my brown-eyed friends. My eyes water and I often burst into a sneezing fit if I suddenly get an eyeful of sunlight.

    Eva also hates the sun. I tried putting sunglasses on her once, but she wouldn’t stand for it. You’re lucky Nora puts up with it! She looks like one cool baby.

  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ Erik R.

    Hey, I got an answer from Aardvark.

    blue eyes contains less melanin in the iris pigmentation which makes it “leak” more light than brown eyes, so when the pupil constricts to shelter the retina from too bright light, the blue iris will not stop as much light as the brown one.

  • http://letterstosg.com Lance

    Sg took to sunglasses right about the time she turned 2. We’d tried them before, but she wasn’t interested in wearing them. Then she started asking for them and has become almost as big a junkie as me.

  • http://www.thegradys.net Alan

    As a blue-eyed person who almost never wears sunglasses, I must be in the minority.