Last week I hit my first major parenting challenge.
It snowed. Which meant I had to buy my toddler boots.
Gasps of horror, I know!
First I had to figure out what size his feet were. I’ve been careful about what shoes he wears. We started off with Robeez, which were great. When he wore a hole through those and needed something tougher for outdoors, we switched to Robeez Tredz – also great. Unfortunately, they’re all sized by months, so I hadn’t the foggiest idea what his shoe size was.
I picked up a boot that looked about the same size as his shoe. I went to slip it onto his foot…and that was about as far as I got. I pushed, I jammed, I rammed, I pushed some more – that boot was not going on his foot. Fine. I tried a bigger size. More pushing, more ramming – five minutes later I was sweating, he was giving me this weird look, and I was ready to call off the boot hunt and just carry him around all winter with several layers of socks on.
So we tried a different store. I found a boot that had a liner – surely that would make it easier somehow.
I’m pretty sure I had people laughing at me as I tried to jam this stupid boot onto his foot. He thought it was pretty hilarious, anyway.
At this point I started getting a little irrational. As in the “why would anyone let me raise a kid when I don’t even know how to buy him boots!!” sort of irrational.
Yes. It was boots that first made me feel like a failure at this whole parenting thing.
Not sleep issues. Not food issues. Not discipline issues.
And so it went, boot after boot, size after size, style after style. Most boots felt like trying to ram an oversized couch around a corner in a skinny hallway, only his foot was the oversized couch and the boot was the woefully small and unyielding hallway. Some boots managed to fit on his foot, but then he couldn’t walk in them, they were so tall and stiff (although I must confess it was a bit amusing to watch him try). Some boots weren’t up to the challenge of keeping little feet warm enough during a cold Canadian winter. And some boots were just plain ugly.
Finally we managed to find two half-decent options. They fit on his feet with minimal swearing and sweating, they felt toasty warm, he could walk in them, and they were pretty cute to boot (pun fully intended – you may commence groaning now). Hubby and I agreed on one of the two pairs, me because it was the more flexible of the two, him because it just so happened to be a Toronto Maple Leafs boot (his favourite hockey team – and, by extension, the boy’s favourite until he’s old enough to start cheering for the Ottawa Senators just to make his dad mad).
Success! We bought the boots, and the little guy spent the rest of the evening gleefully stomping around the house in them.
Turns out I might be able to handle this parenting thing after all.