Buying shoes for kids is frustrating on so many levels. First of all, for some reason, my children seem to think that taking their shoes off in a store gives them free-range to run around like a couple of banshees. I think the naked feet make them feel, well, footloose and fancy free. Secondly, for being just three and 14 months, they are very opinionated regarding their footwear. Ava's shoes need to be pink or have pink on them. If pink is unavailable, she will accept bling of some sort (rhinestones, glitter, etc) or black church shoes. Negotiation is not an option. Jax on the other hand, must have velcro. He handed me a very loud "NO!" when I attempted to place shoes with laces on his feet. He likes to play with the velcro, and will often undo it, unbeknownst to his mother which leads us to a nice game of "Where in the store did Jax's shoe fall off?"
Jax is actually on his very first pair of REAL shoes. He's had the soft-soled baby kind and a pair of sandals, but despite my attempts, I have been unable to buy him shoes until now. You see, my son suffers from elephantitis of the feet, or so it seems. Those suckers are enormous! I have, until now, been unable to find shoes to fit his big, fat feet without being enormously long on him. But, now that he walks EVERYWHERE I decided I had to do something. And a kid can only go to church barefoot so many times. So, while perusing the shoe aisles at Target, I spotted a pair that were not only cute but seemed wide. I grabbed a size 4 and held the sole up to the bottom of his foot. Serious overhang. So, I went up to a 5, same thing. The 6 seemed about right, but when I attempt to shove his chunky feet in them, we couldn't make it past his toes. Frantically and a little bewildered I searched for a SIZE 7. With my fingers crossed I slid them on. They fit, like a glove. Then it hit me. My 14-month-old is in a SIZE 7 shoe! His big sister, who is a whole 26 months older than him wears an 8.5.
When I went to take the shoes off to place in our cart Jax yelled, "NO! DON'T!" I explained that we had to pay for them, but he could hold them. He cradled that pair of shoes the entire rest of the shopping trip and in his car seat on the way home. When we arrived home, I asked him where our shoes go and he very gently placed them in the shoe basket by the front door.
This was two weeks ago, but still, he cherishes those little shoes. He gets so excited to put them on and sometimes that's the first thing he'll do after he's done eating breakfast -- he'll go, grab his shoes and bring them to the nearest adult, throw them in said adult's lap and very politely say, "Ooshs." Then, he'll climb up into the shoe-putter-onners lap and bounce his legs with excitement. When the shoes are finally on, he paces around the house, looking down at his shoes most of the time. He loves the sound they make across the tile floor in the kitchen, and is sure to stomp his feet a little more when he's in there.