Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New shoes

Getting shoes on the kiddo is torture. Like most 1 year olds, just getting him to sit still for 5 seconds is a challenge in itself. It's like performing some sort of circus act to simultaneously sing him a song, hand him a toy and persuade a shoe onto his foot. So when the shoe WON'T GO ON, I'm understandably annoyed.

At first I thought he was curling his toes when I stuffed his foot into a shoe. Then I realized he just has a high instep (aka - fat foot). So I got him some non-skid slippers for around the house since those non-skid socks are pretty darn slippery and the wood floors are pretty darn cold. And really, he doesn't walk around much outside just yet.

When a few rare occasions demanded actual footwear, I remembered a terrific bag of hand-me-down shoes just waiting in his closet. I did the "mom sizing" method and held up the smallest shoe (size 3) to the bottom of his foot. Too small. So I dug through the bag and found some size 4's and repeated the mom sizing method. Perfect. Until I tried to push his little foot in the darn thing. Shove and pull and stretch as I might, it was not going to fit. So I tossed those aside and grabbed an adorable pair of size 4 Chuck Taylors from the bag. I opened the laces as wide as they would go and managed to squeeze a foot into a shoe and tighten the laces before he made his escape. Sweating, I once again wrangled him onto my lap and crammed the second foot into the shoe. Success!

Like a good mom, I realized that shoes should not be this difficult to put on. I pushed on the toe box and determined that he had plenty of room. But I thought I would print out the official Stride Rite online fit chart just to be sure. Try getting a 1 year old to stand on a piece of paper in just the right spot. And then try getting the same 1 year old to continue to hold still while you wrap another piece of paper around the ball of his foot to check the width. Just take my word for it, it's not worth the effort. The fit chart confirmed that he was a 4 medium. Then why is it so hard to get the right size shoes on his feet?!

The hubby announced a hatred for the slippers and cannot get the Chuck Taylors on the kiddos fat foot. So off we went to Nordstrom to cash in some of Mommy's precious credit card points. But with service no where to be found and a mediocre selection at best, we opted to journey down the mall to the Stride Right store. The same store where Nana & Papa bought his big sister her first pair of real shoes.

The lovely sales associate greeted us warmly, measured both feet and declared him to be a 5.5 EXTRA WIDE. Um, what? No wonder those 4 medium's were so hard to get on! I picked a couple of styles as the kiddo wandered to the Leapstart table to play. An older girl joined him making happy small talk with my child who has only recently uttered his first consonant. The associate returned with three acceptable choices, I wrangled the kiddo away from his new friend and easily slid his feet into his new giant shoes.

While I won't bore you with the details of my heart palpitations as I signed the receipt for these shoes which will likely only last 3 months, our story doesn't end here. As I handed over a ridiculous wad of cash, the kiddo toddled off to say hi to his new friend. Being new to the shoe game, he barely made it over to her before wobbling and falling gently to his booty. I remember the same awkward steps when his big sister tried out her first shoes as well. Before I could reach him, his friend wrapped her arms around his waist and hoisted him to his feet. Smiling at her sweetness, I thanked her and said good-bye. As we turned to leave, I heard her remark to the sales associate "hi, I'm Lily and I'm five."

Of course her name is Lily. Just like his big sister.


Heather January 27, 2009 at 2:53 PM  

Oh, Lori. So many everyday reminders...

Beth January 27, 2009 at 4:21 PM  

Wow an extra wide kiddo :) Both of mine have been extra wide most of their life. It is very hard to find extra wide shoes! Stride rite is the BEST place to find them. Everywhere else i have looked they are about the same price and service isn't as good. There is a stride rite outlet in woodburn that has a pretty good selection. I always gasp every time I have to buy shoes!! I have been giving most of my stuff to another mom, but I have couple pairs of shoes I can pass on that will work in a year or so :)

Jennifer January 27, 2009 at 11:10 PM  

Lori...that is such a sweet story!

Nate was an extra-extra wide. I know shopping is one of your least favorite things, but there is a Stride Rite outlet at the Woodburn outlets. We got quite a few pairs of shoes there. Maybe you could convince the people who run your fantastic company that they should make wide shoes!

Anonymous January 28, 2009 at 4:59 AM  

That just goes to show that there REALLY are Angels among us!

The Tucson Gang January 28, 2009 at 6:19 AM  

Wow...I didn't see that ending coming. So, incredibly sweet. :-)

J-man was a double wide and when I can I still try to buy stride rite double wide...but frankly he's at the age where he doesn't like the style anymore. :-( So, I'm forced to NB wide - w/the speedlaces...he loves them. Sure wish the swoosh brand would wise up and make more wide shoes for kids!

Ian, welcome to the flipper feet club! Big, "fat", wide feet are sooo cute (and good for kicking things)! :-)

LCM January 28, 2009 at 6:40 AM  

Buttercup's doctor told us to leave off shoes until she started walking. Once she did, she refused to put shoes on. It took Grandpa and a pair of Easter bunny slippers to get footwear on her. Then it took a trip to Payless for a pair of Mary Janes (that she picked out) to get her in real shoes.
How sweet that 'Lily' was there too.
Oh and Fiona has wide feet too, just like her dad and Grandpa. It's so annoying to find shoes, before I could just pick some out and bring them home. Now she can try them on and still not want to wear them after we get home.

Becci January 28, 2009 at 8:14 PM  

awww... maybe she was a guardian angel sent by Lillian.

Emily February 4, 2009 at 1:31 AM  

Too sweet, I loved the story.
Wanted to sign and just let you know I've been thinking of you. Been thinking of the "cancer community" quite a bit lately and well, that includes you. Anyways you're a blessing to me and thanks for the sweet story! :)

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