I guess I knew it was inevitable. But I didn’t think it would be so difficult. All the hints were there, however. This summer, the only shoes Sophie would wear were her lime green, jibbitz-infested croc imitations. Every time (and I mean every), we would try to put her cute little chunky feet in equally-as-adorable sneakers or sandals (see photo), she would scream. Not a weak, “I don’t agree with you” kind of scream, but a bloodcurdling, “you are ruining my life” kind of scream.
And because my husband and I are the bosses of this house, we inevitably caved in and allowed her to wear those stupid-looking holey shoes, promising (wink-wink) ourselves that next time we’d cover her toes with a different pair of footwear. Of course, that never happened. Not until mid-September rolled around and my husband decided to take a stand. When Sophie wasn’t looking, he threw the pseudo-crocs on top of the fireplace mantle, out of sight. She was confused for a few days, but she finally adjusted, and decided that the flower sandals (first pair in the photo) I had bought for her back in May weren’t so bad after all. Two problems with this tardy realization on her part: fall had arrived and they no longer really fit. But she didn’t seem to mind. And frankly, neither did I. Let her little toes protrude from the front of the shoe, who cares? I spent way too much money on those sandals for them to go unworn. The days of my pitying her were long over.
So, it should have come as no surprise when, for the first time since last spring (when she was still too young to care), the amazing weather we’ve had for the last six months gave way to the blustery fall days that require quilted jackets. You’d think, no big deal. I had a nice, new jacket with a nice cozy fleece liner ready for her. It was Thursday morning, and we were getting ready to walk Chloe to the bus stop. Shoes on, jacket next. But no. Sophie reprised that bloodcurdling, “you are ruining my life” kind of scream when I tried to put her arm in the jacket. The scream turned into wailing and tears. But this time, I was NOT going to give in. “I AM THE BOSS,” I yelled. Chloe looked at me like I was nuts. Sophie screamed louder (I thought she was going to puke from all the self-induced drama), and she tried as hard as she could to resist the evil Mommy, but I WON! An aside: I readily admit that I often view parenthood as an epic struggle between David and Goliath. As you may have already guessed, in my stories, David represents the parents, not the children.
So, Sophie was finally wearing her jacket, and she was strapped into the stroller (the screaming increased a bit when I further humiliated her by locking her up) and sniveling. We arrived at the bus stop and she had a look of unadulterated anger in her eyes, until I broke out the Triscuits. Fortunately, toddlers’ memories are short. But I’m going to remember this day for a very long time because, in one small step for me (and one giant leap for mommies and daddies everywhere), I WON!