Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shoes, not Trailers

There comes a point in every little one's life, where they must face the realities of weather, societal expectations, and physical development. At this point, shoes are no longer optional. Creedence has recently confronted this milestone, as he is taking steps, whether it be between me and Steve or out under the trees crunching leaves. Combined with the cold cold cold that is our tile floors and the world outside, socks just aren't cutting it most days. Plus, they fall off as if they are magnetically opposed to the poles/soles of his feet.

Our journey into footwear began before he was born. The layette was generously stocked with a pair of cowboy boots, black classic Converse, baby Timberlands, itty bitty newborn faux loafers for Sundays, fuzzy blue booties and a ton of adorable sock shoes. He grew out of the loafers first, and I eagerly awaited the days when we would look oh-so-dang-cute in the rest of his shoe collection. But somehow, as his feet grew, they never seemed to reach the size of the shoes. Occasionally, I would try a pair on him to see if today would be the day to yee-haw in those cowboy boots. I struggled, he struggled, and the shoes remained unworn. I chalked it up to maybe it was too early for that size, or that his little calves were just too chubby for the booties and boots to wrap around. However as his feet grew bigger, and surely he was finally the right size, I simply could not get the shoes on him. I would have to completely unlace the Converses to get his foot inside, and the one time my patience won out over his determination to squirm, I managed to lace them up- only to have them fall off somehow WHILE HE WAS NAPPING. He wasn't even moving, and they, like his socks, refused to stay put.

By the time Creedence reached seven months, I had not been able to get him in any shoe since the newborn loafers. I decided to abandon my pre-bought shoe collection, and look for a soft, pliable, stretchy shoe without laces, only velcro. A pair was found, bought, and taken home for the test. I had high hopes. Creedence was remarkably still, perhaps sensing the significance this moment could bring. I put on his socks and attempted the right shoe. I fought to get the toes inside, then the arch, and struggled mightily to get the heel to follow the rest of the foot down into the shoe. I pulled up the little shoe so hard that the little heel tab ripped off. Those shoes went back in thier box, and Creedence played happily with the box, in his falling-off socks, the rest of the morning.

Creedence has surprised us before with his uniquely-Creedo attributes. In my first good long look at Creedence after he was born, I immediately noticed his large hands. They are like paws.

It's no secret that he has a big mouth or big tongue, or even a big head in general. But his feet are something else. They are rectangle, with only the slightest angle from the big toe to the pinkie toe. They are attached to his legs without the visible benefit of an ankle. Instead, he has a line where his ankle should be as if it had been circumferenced with a bit of string. From thigh to foot, his legs are pretty uniformly thick. Not many rolls, just pleasantly soft and chubby and thick. Cream puffs of feet and legs.

So when I finally brought Creedence to a baby footwear professional, she assured me that she had just the shoe. She brought a snazzy pair of tennis shoes, size four, extra wide. While no pieces of the shoe or child were harmed as the two merged, the velcro strap could barely fit across to its destination on the other side of the shoe. I let Creedence romp a bit in the shoes, and after a minute the velcro burst against the strain of holding in Creedence's foot. It popped off, and the shoe had no choice but fall off as well, vanquished like all its predecessors. The store employee looked at me and decreed Creedence as a size four double wide, which they do not carry in stock. In fact, no stores around us carry a size that comprehends the width and girth of my son's feet.

I turned to the internet and found a shoe with a generous cut. When they arrived in the mail, I put Creedo in the thinnest socks he has before giving these shoes a shot. They went on without a struggle- amazing!- and thanks to their fascinating squeak, Creedence seemed to enjoy wearing them. He just sat on the sofa staring at his shoes, until I tapped the bottoms and showed him how they squeak. He loved it and laughed his head off with each tap!

So now we know that Creedence has large, wide, fat feet. All this for pair of shoes that will last a few more weeks...