“For church then?” she asked.
“Maybe when you’re six,” I told her.
When I made the fatal error of looking too long at a pair of girls’ Keds, Camber hissed and grabbed a handful of crib shoes.
“These are so cute,” she said, holding up a pair of pink booties with fluffy lambs’ heads hanging off the toes.
“Yes they are,” I agreed, “But you are five years old, not five months.”
That revelation too came as a disappointment.
After twenty minutes of examining and reexamining every shoe in the store, only one pair of girls’ sneakers managed to generate any enthusiasm in my daughter, and of course they were hot pink and cost $60. If the shoes didn’t come with a free tube of lip gloss, I would have thought that I was getting ripped off.
I was against the shoes for a number of reasons (they had pictures of the Bratz dolls on them for starters), but the deal breaker was that they came with shoelaces. Back in April, our school district sent us a letter that included a list of important skills that rising kindergartners needed to work on over the summer. Tying shoelaces was one of them. As the proud owner of an extensive collection of shoes with Velcro fasteners, I was personally offended by the letter and threw it in the trash. Shoelace tying is an overrated skill in my book.
After explaining to Camber that it was against my best interest to buy shoes for her that she couldn’t put on herself, I did what any sensible, level-headed mother would do. The next morning, I went to Target, Marshalls and Payless and bought every shoelace-free shoe in my daughter's size that cost $20 or less. When I got home, I arranged all of the shoes on the dining room table.
“Let’s go shoe shopping!” I chirped.
“Ohh!” said Kellen, as he reached for a pair of pink polka-dot pull-ons. “I like these.”
“Not for you,” I said, and took them back.
Camber was not impressed with any of my selections.
“I like the Bratz shoes a lot better,” she said, turning up her nose at the bargains that lay before her.
“Choose one of these,” I told her, “Or I’ll choose for you.”
“I’m just going to wear sandals to school,” she announced as she backed out of my shoe store.
You can’t,” I reminded her. “You’re not allowed to wear shoes that show your toes.”
“Sandals won’t show my toes,” she pointed out, “If I wear socks.”