The other day Mr Justice filed a formal complaint about his school sandals. The evidence he presented to the court were two tiny holes, one on the sole of each shoe, which I summarily dismissed, thinking those shoes would do him Just Fine until the weekend, when I could go out and buy him a proper pair.
But then I found him one morning, on the verge of tears, poking one of the shoes with the end of a paintbrush. At first I thought he was freeing a random rock that had filled one of those tiny holes. But then I discovered, in one of those Boinggggggg! moments the writers of “Lost” seem to favour, that the whole sole was filled with bits of gravel and that walking in those things definitely created a Princess and the Pea situation. And, as someone who starts swearing like a crazy bitch whenever even the smallest bit of tanbark gets into my Crocs, I felt his pain.
So I decided to take the late pass on the chin like the Man I’m Not and went to buy him some school shoes at the local Discount Shoe Emporium on the way to school. But before we could go, we had to find some shoes for The Pixie to wear, which presented me with yet another FMI (Footwear Management Issue).
Just the day before, one of the Pixie’s sandals had broken irreparably and both shoes had to be binned, even though she had bravely said they could be her “hopping shoes”. Another pair was MIA, there was one single Pink Croc on the shelves and then there was one last pair that had been deemed “TOO BIG!!!”, as the Pixie helpfully screamed at me whilst shaking her leg violently to show how the oversized shoe fell off when she violently shook her leg, which apparently she does all the time otherwise those shoes wouldn’t be the Big Issue they quite clearly were. And so I promised to buy her a new pair of shoes, if she could stop violently shaking her leg long enough to walk in the Too Big Shoes between the car and the shoe shop.
But could we find a single pair of pink shoes that fitted the Pixie in that giant Shoe Emporium? No, officer, we could not. At one point, I discovered The Pixie in aisle 4 trying to squeeze her Size 9 foot into a Size 6 sequinned ballet slipper, sobbing her little heart out. It was a little like one of the Ugly Stepsisters trying to shoe horn her hoof into the glass slipper – or, even more tragically, like me trying to squeeze back into my pre-baby clothing. Again, I felt my child’s pain.
Having found and paid for Mr Justice’s shoes already, I decided to abort the rest of the mission and go directly to the school. But The Pixie quickly escalated her sobbing to a full-blown tantrum, screaming “I’M NOT GIVING UP!! I’LL FIND MY SPARKLY SHOES!!!” and making me realise that the “It’s too big” moment earlier that morning had been a moment of quiet reflection in comparison.
The shop assistants all started running around to find a suitable pair of shoes for her Royal Highness but alas, there wasn’t even a seasonally-inappropriate pair of pink faux Uggs to be found in the entire store in her size. I glanced over at Mr Justice, who had his hand to his throat in an anxiety-attack-because-we’re-so-late-for-school gesture, and was about to call it a Mental Health Day for one and all when all at once I realised that
A) it was raining; and
B) I had – as recently as two days beforehand – spotted The Pixie’s gumboots wedged under the stroller in the back of the car.
Now all parents will know that Gumboots + Rain = Puddle-Jumping Fun. And so with the promise of puddle-jumping (and glossing over the fact that Tiddles McGee was wearing canvas sneakers and his inevitable participation in that activity would lead to yet another Footwear Management Issue with his melodramatic cries of “Wet!! WET!!!”) , I managed to coerce The Pixie back to the car and deliver Mr Justice to the school only 29 minutes after the bell.
And the late slip? “Shoe Crisis” was the only thing I could think to write as our excuse. It was the closest thing other than this almost 700 word blog post that could describe it.