Friday, January 11, 2008

A Long Post About Shoes!

I have never in my life thought about shoes as much as I have in the past 5 days. I decided on Monday that Ethan should finally start wearing shoes. We went to church Sunday, and he was the only kid with no shoes. When we go out to eat, he's the only one that seems to defy the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" rule. I've always felt that you should hold off on shoes for as long as possible, and if they never walk outside - then they never need shoes. It is winter, so Ethan has not really walked outside, ever... But on Monday, it was super nice and warm outside (70 degrees!!), and I decided to let the kids play in the yard. I stood Ethan in the yard and realized he needed shoes. Not only did his socks get mulch, grass, and mud all over them - he also looked odd outside without shoes, for some reason.

So, I changed his socks and headed to Payless to have them measure Ethan for shoes. There are no better shoe stores in my town - sad, huh? They said he was a 5 1/2, so I headed to the toddler section and tried on a cute 5 1/2 shoe. Hmm... I couldn't even get his whole foot in there. Maybe he needs a 6? I try a 6. Same problem. A 6 1/2 - same thing. I put a 7 on him, and it fits, but the straps will not close. I took off the 7 and held it up to Ethan's foot upside down (that's how he'll wear it, actually). The 7 is way too long for his foot.

I drove straight home and began researching baby shoes. Turns out I was right, they shouldn't have shoes until they can walk, and then only outside. Well, Ethan has been walking for 2 months... *shhh* I start to feel like a parent that just found out their kid has some sort of disability. Not that I'm comparing this to that - I just felt like Ethan was somehow different all of a sudden. He's normal, but has this one thing that makes him special.

I decide to google "shoes for baby feet that are too fat". Bingo! I find a nice article about choosing the right shoe for your baby. The shoes all sound awesome, so I look up some of the brands. Umi, Pediped, See Kai Run, L.A.M.B., Roberto Cavalli... The least expensive seems to be around $30, the most expensive around $175.... hmm...

So I e-mail a friend that prefers European shoes, assuming that she would know some of the brands - European or not - and she does. She tells me that Marshall's carries Umi. I immediately (okay, the next day) drive to Marshall's and look at every baby shoe they have. They only have Umi for girls, so I decide to try every boy shoe they have on Ethan. After literally trying on about 15 brands of shoes, each in a size 6 and a size 7, I give up and grab a pair of Converse. I loosen all the laces, pull the tongue back as far as it will go, and squeeze Ethan's foot into the shoe. I tug at the back of the shoe, I slap the bottom, I loosen the laces again, I adjust his sock, check to see if his toes are curled (they are not), pull at the back, loosen the laces, straighten his foot, slap the bottoms, and PRESTO! Ethan is wearing a shoe! I pull them off, and go pay for them.

The shoes sat on his dresser for 2 days before I even tried to put them on his feet again. I went through the same tug, slap, loosen, etc thing to get one of the shoes on his foot. Then I realized that I could fold down the back, thread the laces the wrong way through the eyelets, and possibly, hopefully, get these shoes on Ethan's feet a little easier. The shoes are canvas high tops, by the way, and remind me of 80's punk every time I look at them. I love them.

Yesterday, I put the shoes on Ethan with the backs folded down. It only took me about 5 minutes that way! Progress! I stood him up in his new shoes, and he stares at them for a second, then takes a step. Have you ever seen a dog wearing booties? Daniel and I used to love watching a TV show with funny pet videos, and every episode there would be a dog wearing booties, walking around like each step is into a big puddle of honey. It's hilarious. Please don't tell Daniel that I told you he used to watch that show :o)

So, here is Ethan, walking like a dog with booties on. Then he sits down, unties one shoe, and cries. *sigh* Off to find Pedipeds....


Oh Joy! said...

you really have a gift for writing. Thanks for making me smile... much needed.

Did you look on eBay? Stride Rite?

Anonymous said...

Robeez! They are leather shoes/booties with soft leather soles. They are supposed to be perfect for toddlers and they stand up to being worn outside and I think you can wash them. They are about $30 or so for a pair and you can get just about any design and color you want. Check ebay.

Sara M. said...

I just can't bring myself to buy used shoes. I think they conform to each person's foot too much, and might cause problems for the second wearer.

I did think about Robeez, but I read that they were not good for outside in case the kid steps on a rock or glass. Not that glass is all over my yard, but you never know.

Stride Rite regular shoes don't work, but I might try their wide shoes & see.

Thanks for the ideas, Joy & Chrissie!

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