Monday, June 22, 2015

Shoefully Ignorant

I love shoes. It turns out buying them for my girls is as fun as when I buy them for myself. I am also already dreading the day when they get an opinion and stop letting me pick out the ones I like best.

My girls only had gym shoes, which worked great this spring, but I needed to get them ready for summer, so a few weeks ago we piled into the car, drove to the mall, piled out (seriously do you have any idea what goes into taking twins to a mall?) and wandered into the nearest mall.

The new shoes getting ready to jump into action at the park.
Of course the store I wanted to go to was on the opposite side of where I came in, so we schlepped across the mall with all the people stopping to point, yelling out things like “Are they twins?” and “Oh my god, how do you do it?” (double stroller people) and went to Stride Rite.

Lucky me they were having a sale on sandals, but of course only a limited selection. We picked out one style for both girls, and then literally as I am being rung up I chickened out and asked for a different pair of shoes for one of the girls.

“Do you have these in either of their sizes?” I asked holding up a silver sandal (of course their feet are different sizes). Somehow I just knew that if I got the girls the same shoes I’d end up screwing up the sizes. One would end up wearing two left shoes, or each would have one 4.5 and one 4. It would be a disaster. I’d be forever trying to check sizes while wrestling shoes onto baby feet.

Of course I explain all this to the sales associate in a suddenly panicky new mom voice as she very courteously switches out the shoes and rings up the new pair. She laughs and tells me about tricks she’s heard other parents do so that doesn’t happen. They put stickers in the shoes and the kids can match them up, the keep them in the box, teach the kids to read the numbers on the inside… a whole host of things that I hadn’t thought of. (That sticker thing is really clever).

How am I suddenly a shoe novice when it comes to kids? With adult shoes I know everything. I can answer any question. I can tell you how well pitched a shoe is by looking at it, accurately estimate comfort on a variety of styles for men and women, and solve most issues, but when it comes to kids shoes I obviously have no clue what in the living hell I am talking about.

After a short lunch where I was stared at, pointed at and heard people whisper things under their breath, the girls and I packed up again (I’m like a mule at this point) and went out to the parking lot, where we got stopped again by no fewer than four more people, most of whom asked if they were twins. We loaded up into the car and started driving home.

This little piggy escaped. 
Halfway through an otherwise quiet ride home D started to fuss. Then it got louder. Then I realized it didn’t sound quite right. Of course I’m on the expressway driving 60 mph in weekend traffic with a bazillion cars around, my girls are rear facing, D is directly behind me and I can’t see what’s making her whine and scream in a way that doesn’t sound dire, but it’s obvious she’s not happy.

As soon as I pull off the expressway (it’s a short drive) I pull into a parking lot, unbuckle and flip around to find that she has pulled her new sandals halfway off and her big toe is sticking out. By the point she has stopped fussing and is just looking at me, vaguely pissed that her shiny new shoes are not doing whatever it was she was trying to do with them (probably take them off).

If I was a seasoned mom I probably would have seen this coming. I would have known that no center strap allows them to pop their toes out, but instead I am first time mom on all things, including shoes. Change the age of the wearer and I’m totally lost. I know nothing about children’s shoes, and I have two little ones to buy for. That’s lots and lots of shoes, so I guess I’ll be an expert soon enough. The I did what every great mom does when their child is whining in discomfort over having an escaped toe.

I took a picture.

Full disclosure: I am in no way affiliated with Stride Rite and bought their shoes all by myself. 

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