The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Dirty Girl

My five year old daughter, Klepto, announced a few days ago that she needed new tennis shoes. Great. Good Lord, kids are such money-pits, aren’t they?

So, wanting to be a good mother, and suspecting that the ancient art of foot-binding probably doesn’t fit with that notion in the U-S-of-A,  I loaded up the minivan and took the whole brood to the outlet mall after school. Not my favorite thing to do during happy hour.  Personally, I would rather donate a cornea than go shopping with children.  

Well, being that Klepto is indeed my mini-me, I immediately realized why I had procrastinated for so long about getting her some new shoes.  Somewhere between the second and the third shoe store, I suddenly had flashbacks of shoe shopping as a child.  I remember it so clearly now!  My Dad would take me on a Saturday and I would be sitting there on the bench, about 20 boxes of shoes forming a semi-circle around me, and one very exasperated looking shoe salesman waiting for a decision.  My Dad, never a very patient man, was giving me the stink-eye; silently willing me to hurry-up-and-just-fucking-pick-one, because if I didn’t choose something RIGHT NOW, there would be no new shoes. My Mom probably delegated the shoe shopping chore to Dad because she had a low pain threshold and knew that if anyone could frighten me out of my indecisiveness, it would be my Dad.  Hmmmm, indecisiveness, major symptom of ADD.  See, even then.  

Fast forward thirty-some years and there we were, Klepto, Nature Boy, Bucket Head, and me.  And we were in our fourth shoe store at the outlet mall. Bucket Head (the toddler) was getting restless. “The Witching Hour” was upon us, and me without an Elmo’s World video and my cocktail. I was losing steam quickly. Don’t you just hate when store clerks glare at you just because your kids are touching every single item in the store with their boogery fingers and your baby is smashing and throwing Goldfish crackers on the floor? So rude. Mothers are customers too, ya know. I have money to spend, people. Don’t fuck with the Mommy…I’ll take my husband’s credit cards elsewhere.  

My poor daughter.  She was not being difficult on purpose. She just knows what she wants and knows how to get it. I admire her so much for her free spirit, and fashion sense, and fortitude.  She finally found the pair she liked….they were cute AND comfy.  Cha-ching.  Here is what they looked like the next morning on her way out the door for school:

Cute, right?  And look how sassy she is pairing them with a big floral printed dress! Totally her idea.

So I thought we were in the clear. New shoes? Check. Happy child? Check. Twenty five dollars gone from my wallet? Check. Oh, not so fast, Grasshoppah.  

Klepto got home from school 8 hours later. Her new shoes were a huge hit with the other kindergarteners and she felt like a rock star. Plus, they made her run SO FAST, that she wanted to keep them on for our trip to a new park to meet some friends that afternoon. Sure honey. Sounds great.

Only one problem…I didn’t realize this park had a pond.

DAMMIT. Less than 24 hours after we bought them.  Look how smart I was, to have her change into play pants too. Even when I think I am on it, I am so clearly not.

Well that is ok. Deep breath. I am nothing if not a highly skilled stain remover. All I need is my handy-dandy Oxy Clean.  Now where is that?…

Wash out your ego every once in a while, as cleanliness is next to godliness
not just in body but in humility as well.
  ~Abbe Yeux-verdi

4 Comments

  1. Ok, you are on a roll….keep it going!!! I love to read about you and your family and what is going on in your everday lives. Love the pink tennis shoes and I wish I could replace them so your daughter have dress tennis shoes and play tennis shoes. What a free sprit!!!!

  2. Not Drowning Mother

    October 5, 2008 at 3:10 am

    Love the post!

    Eight hours? You did well for $25. I was just thinking this morning that the leather on my daughter’s pink shoes disintegrated about 5 minutes after we took them out of the box – almost like acid had been thrown at them or even just a bucket of water (“I’m melting, I’m melting”). Anyways, they still look like exactly like that almost nine months on – no worse, but certainly no better.

    I’m thinking of wrapping my children’s feet in gaffer tape – you can get such pretty colours – and you wouldn’t have to change the tape *that* often to avoid any foot-binding bind.

  3. Oh my g-d! I am laughing out loud. Why don’t y’all move to Oregon so I can experience all of this firsthand? The pictures are classic. So send me a picture of the shoes post-oxy clean. Your left coast sistah.

  4. You’re a natural. So funny and your photos complement the text. Blog on.

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