First shoes, take two
Buying your child’s first pair of shoes is supposed to be an emotional experience, isn’t it? Well, we seem to be terrible at it.
How can it be so hard, I hear you say? Surely you just go to the shop and buy a pair of shoes?
First time round we actually ended up buying the first shoes on the third attempt (see also: how not to buy your child’s first pair of shoes). It’s fair to say we got off on the wrong foot.
So second time round we put off buying first shoes for as long as possible. Until it was apparent that Florence wasn’t going to stop walking and really needed footwear.
When we finally ventured out the shoe shop was more busy than the week before September, packed with families and rack upon rack of sale shoes, which made manoeuvring round with a pram and a baby doing the Bambi / zombie shuffle tricky. When we finally got served, Florence eyed the assistant with the same look of haughty suspicion her sister did three years ago and then entwined herself around me like a vine, which made the measuring part tricky.
Then all the cute but not disgustingly girly shoes I’d eyed in the display turned out to be in the wrong sizes, then only one pair of the two I’d least disliked were in stock (why don’t they make Magic Steps any more?). Shoes on, Florence refused to walk because why had we suddenly encased her feet in concrete? And then Eliza refused to leave until she’d had her feet measured too. I was keen to get it over with, leaving with three new pairs, loads less money, a size 100 headache and in need of either a giant tea or a giant wine, possibly both at the same time.
But when we got home and I saw the tiny box, with it’s manipulative and sentimental tiny baby footprint pattern, and the tiny, tiny shoes nestled inside, it was like a sudden kick to my gut.
I know getting the first shoes wasn’t the most fun of all things, but are these the last first shoes? I’m pretty sure – at the moment – that there won’t be a take three, but seeing the box made me think. So I wouldn’t say the shoe shop is shut for good. Just not yet.
(Footnote: we ended up with sparkly purple t-bars and bright pink wellies, and Eliza also had new pink wellies, says the person who said ‘I’ll never buy pink, glittery things or anything matching for my daughters!’ And predictably, Florence still prefers other people’s shoes).