Dear Cap’n Crusty,

From the moment that those two pushes (un-medicated, on accident) brought you into the world, and I saw those big blue eyes and that dimple, I was utterly and foolishly in love.

We’ve suspected blocked tear ducts since your 1-month appointment.  You were always a little crusty.  In the beginning we were battling so many other issues (failure to thrive, allergies, etc.) that crusty eye snot simply didn’t hit the radar. Plus, lots of infants have blocked tear ducts—they usually open up all by themselves.

Over the past several months, those blocked ducts progressed from a little goopy crust to a prolific production of green crust resulting in annoying comments from strangers.

“Poor baby, is that pink eye?”  Said while snatching children behind a force field created by hand sanitizer.

“Oh, do you need a kleenex?”*

*Let me pause for a minute here.  Thank you, random stranger, for thinking I might have missed the dried, green mucous under my son’s eyes.  I assure you that I not only noticed the problem, but I also spend a fair amount of time correcting it.  However, since the child cries every time he sees a washcloth headed in his general direction, and being that it is the TEAR ducts that are blocked, making him cry every 15 minutes is counterproductive.  Since it’s the tears that produces the crust to begin with. *

But Elliot, not being the one to do anything the easy way, the membranes of your ducts did not spontaneously clear.  This past November, at your 12-month appointment, the pediatrician referred us to an ophthalmologist.  He took one look and scheduled surgery.  For 5:30 am.  On a Saturday.  Urgh.

Anytime I need to be somewhere early I don’t sleep well.  Factor that into my 15 month old getting a small wire with a teeny-tiny balloon on the end inserted into his tear ducts while under general anesthesia, after $1100 co-pay (spending that much money before 6 am should be illegal), and I am a tired and cranky human this evening.

The whole surgery/recovery part took about 30 minutes.  Let me repeat, 30 minutes.  How much did we have to pay up front again?  For 30 minutes?  Really.  I guess ophthalmologists have something in common with plumbers and mechanics.


You looked like this when you woke up from nap yesterday.

You looked like this when you came home.

Granted, you look a lot like a crackhead coming off a binge, or a seriously hung-over college student, but the goop is gone.  I laugh thinking that the nurse told me you’d likely have no appetite for the rest of the day.  Considering you polished off an entire english muffins with cream cheese, after eating an apple and drinking 8 oz of milk I guess you are a hungry drunk.

Bloody tears are also normal.  You’ve had a few of those today.  I considered taking a picture, but it creeped me out and I decided not all memories need to be persevered.

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