I was not really on top of the shoe situation this summer. And I paid.
Well in my defence I had a plan. In late July I took the kids for new shoes. Sydney's toenails were about to poke through. Jackson's were about to combust.
So we went and bought Reeboks. Generally I have not spent a lot of money on my kids' shoes, but I'm starting to realize that they are in them a lot. And a lot of that time is spent running. Also, Sydney inherited bilaterally the over pronation gene which seems to suggest knee surgeries and back pain in her future. So I forked out for Reeboks.
No sooner had we bought the shoes, after receiving solemn promises that the shoes felt good, fit well and were an acceptable colour, when Sydney told me the tongue slips. Could we buy her new shoes?
Jackson became the owner of his first lace up shoes. He learned belatedly the whole shoe tying thing, due to some faulty finger muscles (really, we were surprised too.) Once we had the shoes and the statute of limitations on returns expired, he was unclear about his commitment to tying shoes all the freakin' time. I agreed that taking these shoes on holidays was not worth the necessary wear and tear on my sanity. We came home from holidays and Jackson had his foot vs. elliptical trainer issue. The bulky bandages made any shoe wearing uncomfortable and I wisely did not press the laced shoes.
Then I was preoccupied with my Dad's subdural hematoma and so yesterday, the day before school starts, I told him I wanted to sort out the shoes. He wanted new ones. I told him they cost money. He said he would pay me out of his allowance. I suggested that it was cheaper to work with me to try to make the shoes comfortable than to pay me for them.
He agreed. I put on the shoes for him. He tied them. He declared them comfortable and it was sorted.
Then I remembered that he needs inside shoes for school. When we last shoe-shopped in July, I found some shoes I thought would be good for inside shoes i.e. on sale but he assured me that he did not need inside shoes as his old ones still fit. I knew at the time that they likely wouldn't last or wouldn't fit by September, but since shoe-shopping is painful, I happily did not engage in another Mommy vs. J Boy death match.
So yesterday, with not enough hours of daylight to make the shoe shopping happen, I realized that today, the day all kids in the district go to school for 30 minutes and then head to the mall, would be a dreaded trip to the shoe store.
I expected Jackson's cooperation level to fall somewhere between tortuous and excruciating. He did not disappoint.
He put on shoes. Said they were fine. I said "are you sure". He said "no they are too tight." I gave him another pair. He said they felt weird. He said "are we done yet?" and flopped on the ground blocking the aisle. He said he didn't want shoes. I said "too bad" and threw a pair of Star Wars shoes at him. He said they pinched. We tried a size bigger. Too big. Eventually we had a good possibility, but I wanted Jackson to try a half size larger, just to be sure about the size. I may as well be asking him for a kidney donation without anaesthetic. After the clerk climbed to the top of the ladder to retrieve the only size 13 1/2, he tried them only only to be proven right and the size 13 was the right size
Jackson's troubles were only starting. Now we had to find Sydney shoes. We had a whole plan for Sydney's inside shoes. The white shoes I had to buy for her hip hop performance were earmarked as inside shoes. However, she had been pretty game about the Reeboks enduring all kinds of discomfort, which I had to admit were a bit big. We we decided that she'll wear the hip hop shoes for outside shoes, save the Reeboks for when her feet grow a little and we'd acquire new inside shoes. My agreement to this plan was in no small part influenced by a BOGO -- buy one get one at 50% off. When you add the 10% coupon I had, her shoes only cost me $9.
While Sydney and I tried every possible shoe in her size, plus a half size up and down, Jackson lay on the floor and moaned that he was ready to go. He flopped around like a fish out of water. Even my promise of a treat, my threats and as a complete last resort logic ("shoes don't magically appear, you know we have to buy them") did nothing to curry favour or modify his behaviour.
This outing was made particularly special because I was not the only frazzled mother who forgot to buy shoes sometime in the last month. And quite a number of hyperactive children made the trip. Plus one baby that cried like a very, very, very, loud crow.
Plus the crabby clerk who I asked for help in divining if the shoes fit as in wear-until-Christmas or fit-until-next-Tuesday. She was quite cross with me. She tried to teach me how to tell if the shoes fit but I maintained my ignorance. In support of the proposition that IT IS NOT THAT EASY TO SEE IF THE SHOES FIT, I point out that one clerk told me a size 12 of a particular shoe was too big for Sydney and the crabby one said they were too small. Turns out Sydney thought size 12 was just right.
Now I have warmed up and am ready for the biathalon of motherly achievements: finding underwear AND jeans for a certain slender 8.75 year old.