Call me crazy, but I thought, having secured my fate as a mother of three boy children, that I’d be spared some of the less desirable moments that go along with parenting a girl child. Like dreaded shopping excursions for school clothing, where nothing is suitable.
The Gort started Kindergarten this year. A monumental occasion that was undersold and underhyped due to his baby brother’s decision to arrive on the first day of school. I mean, he got the requisite backpack and lunch box and that was all very exciting. And I made a countdown calendar for him so he’d know exactly when school started. And my friend Carrie kindly took some pictures of his big day since neither parent was in attendance. And I did take him to Starbucks for a special treat after his 2nd official day, which I thought would be super fun and wasn’t because he had some cataclysmic meltdown about chocolate milk. The kind of meltdown that prompts a stranger to ask: ‘why is he crying like that?’
My answer: ‘he’s five’.
But I digress. Part of the Kindergarten protocol is having a pair of ‘inside shoes’. A pair that one puts on every day when one arrives at school, and removes prior to leaving. I think it’s partly to help keep the floors clean during the Calgary seven month-long-winter. At least, that’s my theory.
Well, on account of the whole ‘baby’ thing, we didn’t get around to buying inside shoes. So we sent along his yellow Crocs. Shoes, as my friend Laura has pointed out before, that are not really conducive to activities like gym, but I figured I’d remedy the situation at another time. Little did I know I’d remedy the situation four days later because his new friend ‘Josh-oo-a’ broke one of his Crocs. At least that’s the story we were told. We’re still not one hundred percent on the details.
So there was no choice but to head out to the shops and find another pair of shoes. We tried Winner’s and The Shoe Company. All to no avail. And then we stopped at Payless.
Previously, shoe shopping consisted of one of us selecting a couple of pairs for him to try on. And then letting the Gort have the final say in which pair went home. And that is what I did. I found two pairs of the least offensive looking shoes and plopped the boxes down in front of him.
It should be mentioned that Jason’s dad was with us, at this point. He’d come along for a little shoe shopping fun with his grandsons.
Upon looking at the shoes, our oldest decided that he wasn’t interested in either pair. A statement of preference that quickly escalated into refusal to even try them on, which led to Jason’s dad evacuating the tense premises. With a significant amount of bribery (superhero socks) and threat (if you don’t try them on we’re leaving) he acquiesced and put a pair of shoes on his feet.
I thought we were home free.
I was wrong.
With the shoes on his feet he decided to go for a ‘test run’ down the aisle. A test run that included a staged ‘trip-and-fall’….so as to show us that these shoes were, in fact, bad for his feet; detrimental to his ability to get around. He literally ran two paces before imploding on the floor…into an ungainly pile of skinny legs and big shoes.
Stunned, all Jason and I could do was look at each other. And try to maintain our ‘stern’ faces without giggling. Where does the kid come up with this stuff? It wasn’t a one-time trick either, every time he went for his test run he’d collapse, and his brother – pocket sized parrot that he is – would collapse as well. With great drama. We were a spectacle in aisle six of the Payless Shoe Store. The sweet store clerk with the head scarf kept popping around the corner to see if we needed help and, upon seeing the state of things, would head back to the cash register.
In the end he walked out with the two pairs that we started with. And I vowed never to take him shoe shopping again. I will instead rely upon the choiceless mail order approach.
‘Look what the mailman brought you….a pair of green Crocs in your size. Aren’t they cool?’