Last year, I let him wear flip flops in the snow. Not all the time. But sometimes. Playing the 'I'm not going to make a mountain out of a molehill' parenting car. Then I realized the joke was on me, because, while I think forcing the issue on clothing is usually a lose-lose battle....allowing your 4 year old to essentially go barefoot in the cold might be a one-way ticket to an appearance on Super Nanny. And, I am afraid it might lead to me looking back 10 years later, saying "It all started there. With the flip-flops. That's when I lost control. The tattoo, earring, and hoochie girlfriend are all my fault.".
So this year, I've laid out the boundaries and have let Garrett know that the flip flops are being put away until summer...as soon as it gets cold. Luckily for him, we have bipolar weather and he's been rockin the flops though mid-October. Two weekends ago, we set out on a family adventure to purchase a new pair of winter shoes. (This is where I start to look crazy). I have no idea why we all went. We are just exciting like that. Oh, wait.....I do know. The last time I let Paul buy him footwear, this is what he came home with.
|uggliest shoes ever|
Anyway, I'll set the scene: New Balance. !6 year old employee who I feel certain will never have s.e.x. for fear that she will end up like us. One crying baby. One child picking her nose and grabbing shoes to eat as we wheel her past the displays. And one 5-yr-old cowering behind his father, as if in fear of tennis shoes. I am not kidding--he literally cried because he did not like any of them. So, we said we'd try another place. No big deal. Lots of shoes in the sea.
We hop in the car (you would laugh at this phrase if you'd ever seen Burch Party of 5 load up to go somewhere) and I start in on "children in Africa have no shoes. they are thankful", which totally backfired because G said, "you mean they get to go barefoot all the time?", as if that would be mecca. Not exactly what I was going for with that lesson:(. Three shoe stores and 2 very angry parents later, we abandoned the mission and headed home. All the shoes were 'too tight', 'too big', 'not handsome' , or 'not fast'. He did find a few that he liked, which the team vetoed (i.e., black, light-up, DarthVader).
Then, after beating my head on the wall and calling my mother to ask what I'd done wrong, I remembered my own personal love affair with Zappos. So, I ordered the little darling 9 pairs of shoes that I deemed acceptable. They were all rejects. Not kidding. He.would.not.accept.a.single.pair.of.the.new.shoes.!!!!!!! Then, like any stupid, blinded-by-first-born-child-love mother would do, I ordered 'round 2' of shoes from Zappos. I'm leaving out a lot of the gory details in between here...but you can imagine....tears, yells, power struggles, apologizes, vows to change behavior (by all parties involved).
The end goes something like this....box #2 arrives, G declares before opening it that he doesn't like any of them and I throw down the ultimatum and vow to chose for him. He wants to know which one I will chose, so, clearly, he can chose the opposite. And, we end up with the exact same darn pair we've had for the last 4 years, except bigger. Two weeks, several stores, hundreds of dollars on my credit card, and an ulcer and he choses the same pair!!
|Suckered and out-controlled by a 5-year-old again!|
The flops are gone....and the meltdowns over shoes (and pants, and sweatshirts) have begun. Is it spring yet?