Blowing Off A Little Silly Steam

Growing up in San Francisco, the big fear was always that some big earthquake would tear us from the mainland and we’d float off into the sunset. It never happened, much to the chagrin of those Nevadans, who were probably drooling over their property value if they could just include the words “ocean view”.  In fact, the folks in Las Vegas liked the idea so much they built Lake Mead.

Same thing. Less whales.

During my youth, San Francisco had culture, it had art, it had beauty, it had that big bridge everyone gets excited about, and yes, it had fog.  But hey, some people are in to that.

It also had…mud. You know, that sticky and slimy brown stuff you try to avoid when your vision is affixed to your iPad or cell phone?  I might look up to step over this puddle, or maybe I could…splash…yeah, bad move.

During a VT session today with one of my more silly hearted five-year old girls, we got on the subject of mud. Don’t ask me how, I had barely sipped my first cup of coffee. Besides, it was a far better topic than discussing puking in a neighbor’s yard, which is how a session ended yesterday.

My sessions are never boring, you’ve got to give me that.

So when you’re five years old, and a grown-up (current evidence to the contrary) discusses mud, you get pretty excited.  I mean, you get REALLY  excited. “How many clowns do you see?“.


Hilarity ensues.

Anyway, back to my story. Five years old. Mud. Squirrel! Shiny objects to the left of my laptop.

Sigh. It’s been a long week…

This sweetheart of a little girl has struggled in Vision Therapy. Some of it could be attributed to her age, since sitting still and being serious are just not what you do when you’re five years old. Another part of it, according to her mom, is that when she was adopted at three years old she had never left the crib.

I’ve heard that’s bad. Floor? What’s a floor?

So we’re discussing mud and I asked her what it feels like to touch mud. “Can you describe it?” For those of you “Build and Describe” parquetry tycoons, try asking a kid to describe mud and see how much more fun they have than when they’re trying to convince you which side of the green square is not parallel to the other sides. You might be surprised at the quality of their descriptions when discussing something they’re intimately familiar with. My point is we had a moment – an “a ha” moment.

Well, I had a moment. She was all into her mud.

So picture this – a 40 year-old Vision Therapist and a 5 year-old mud connoisseur sitting on the floor in a VT room discussing mud. What could possibly go wrong?

The little girl stood up and grabbed a loose lens that she spotted on a shelf. “This is just like mud, but it’s hard and not cold. It also has these sharp parts (edges), so it’s not really the same at all“.

Wait, what did you say?

And look, (grabbing the big YOGA ball in the room) this is just like mud but it’s blue and round and bounces. Does mud bounce?”

She continued her comparative rampage with four or five more supplies. When she was finished,  we talked for 10 minutes about the ways mud and her newly acquired favorite VT objects were the same and not the same.

I’ve heard that premise is important, too.

And we have something to build on for next week.

Made me wonder if Piaget had a mud pit in his research hall.

Probably not.


Posted on January 29, 2016, in From My Perspective.... Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. What does it say about me that I totally dig this – did we work together too long? ♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Nurisio COVT

      I see what you did there – dig this…mud. I love it! We are definitely birds of a feather, Linda. And if you ever want to work together in a VT room again, count me in! 🙂


  2. So I immediately began thinking about how I could bring mud into my VT room…..rubbermaid tub, maybe “fake” mud, like cornstarch, which kids would totally freak out about the feeling…..did you say “squirrel?” Any openings in the Robert/Linda club? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Nurisio COVT

      Mud in the VT room…we’re certainly moving up in the world, eh Jenni? Oh, and you may want to think twice about joining the Robert/Linda club. It can be similar to the Hotel California – you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gary J. Williams, OD

    I read all of your blogs, appreciate your thinking, admire your writing, and wonder at your willingness to share the good and the not-so-good, but this is one of your best. There is an advantage to controlling vision therapy. It enhances our ability to make observations and assess progress, but it is much more powerful when it is real and important to the child.
    Gary J. Williams, OD


    • Robert Nurisio COVT

      Thank you for your kind words, Dr. Williams. Truly, making VT meaningful should be a cornerstone of our thinking. Thanks for reading! 🙂


  1. Pingback: Playing In The Mud… | VT Works

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