mummy is always tired

In Which We Discuss The Incident Of The New Shoes

on February 11, 2014

We went shoe shopping last weekend.  I’d like to say it was a pleasant family exercise but unfortunately our eldest didn’t want to play ball and it was a rather fraught experience.   Our eldest is extraordinarily stubborn, she cannot be encouraged or cajoled or just plain bribed into doing things she doesn’t want to do.  Now in later life this may well prove to be a quality worth upholding, when you’re 3 it is just  incredibly irritating.  There are certain things our eldest is just known for amongst our friends – she doesn’t wear skirts, she doesn’t wear dresses, she won’t even wear a coat.  She will only wear t-shirts (must be short sleeved) and she will only wear leggings (the older the better) and she will only wear her beloved purple fleece (again, ancient). Even at her birthday party, whilst her friends wore neat dresses with sparkly boleros she wore an old t-shirt with faded printed leggings, captured for all time on camera with the frayed seams and bobbly finish.

We decided to attempt to rectify the situation and as one of her birthday presents we bought a lovely, new, fluffy navy blue fleece.  If she won’t wear a coat we’ll try and compromise and this was a happy medium – or so we thought.  The gift was unwrapped and the initial reaction was good – a smile – so far, parents 1, awkward infant 0.  However, our smugness was soon quashed when she refused point blank to try it on.  That was 3 weeks ago.  So each day for the last 3 weeks we have, every morning attempted bribery, threatened (and implemented) the naughty step in order to get her to just try the fleece on.  Only yesterday did we have success.  I’m not sure if it is stubbornness alone or the fear of wearing new things that makes her stubborn, either way it is something we have had to ‘factor in’ when introducing anything unfamiliar.  New clothes are presented and then added to the wardrobe, to be ignored for several months until their presence has become familiar and therefore acceptable to then finally be selected and worn usually accompanied by silent mutterings of ‘hallelujah’ by us.

You can imagine then our weariness when we realised our eldest finally needed some new shoes.  Her current shoes have been worn so much that there are bare exposed patches where the lovely pink leather has been eroded.   The good thing was that our youngest was also due some new shoes, brilliant! we thought, surely seeing her baby sister getting shiny, new shoes would be an incentive? Right? Of course not but you knew that and so, deep down did we.  While our youngest smiled with delight as her feet were measured and triumphantly carried her chosen pair of shoes around the shop, our eldest sat…. sullenly….. brooding in the buggy.  We tried the softly, softly approach and when that failed, there was no alternative but to resort to the tactics that would inevitably cause a ‘scene.’  So, I foolishly tried to force some new shoes on her feet only to be met with the agile twisting and turning that only an angry 3 year old can demonstrate, of course, no such performance can be displayed without sound and with all the volume of cinema surround sound came the high pitched scream of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I don’t want new shoes.” Needless to say I was shamed in to untangling velcro, feet and socks and putting the new shoes safely back in their box.

So Monday came and the stark contrast between our eldest and youngest was clearly evident.  There was our youngest, smartly dressed in tights, dress and winter coat, feet neat in patent leather topped off with little white bows standing next to our eldest who in comparison looked like she had been dressed from the nursery spare clothes box. But not to worry, I shall log the incident of the new shoes silently and store it away, to be resurrected when our eldest becomes a teenager and no doubt starts to demand new shoes on a whim, to which my reply will be “NO, because you don’t like new shoes do you darling?”

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