Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Zane and Shoes, Not So Much

I am a woman who loves shoes. I don’t care how stereotypically feminine it is to admit this fact. I’ll say it again. I have a uterus and an overwhelming love for shoes. I always think that I need more shoes and fantasize about different shoes on my feet like other women fantasize about food or sex.

In the 80’s when Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were toppled from power in the Philippines, I really had trouble understanding what the fuss about her 3,000 shoes was all about. (I was only 12 years old in 1986 and had little understanding about massive bribery, corruption, and class oppression, so I really missed the entire point of the argument). In my mind, though, I could completely understand loads and loads of shoes.

The other day, I tried on a pair of $600 Christian Louboutin shoes at DSW. (Actually, I tried on one shoe, the other was locked up in the back of the store someplace). To be sure, I have never even come close to buying a $600 pair of shoes – that is just too rich for my blood. But I did try that one shoe on and enjoy my 3 minutes in luxury shoe heaven.

Lucky for me, SRH is a man shoe-horse. That man really likes him some shoes. He rarely fights me on buying a pair and really gets it when I say that my needing a new pair of shoes feels like a crisis which must be resolved right away.

So imagine our mutual chagrin when it turned out that our only child, the love of our lives, Zane, does not like shoes. Rather, he only likes one pair of shoes. These shoes.

These raggedy, winter shoes which he refers to simply as Brown Shoes. Zane asks to wear Brown Shoes every day. I’m not sure if the picture is clear, but Brown Shoes are beat all to heck, they are heavy, and they are not made to go with shorts.

So, I bought him a pair of spiffy, blue sneakers to sport him up a bit.

Blue Shoes, as they are referred to at our house, are canvas-like tennis shoes that will allow his wee feet to breathe a bit and look nice in the bargain. Some days if I claim that Brown Shoes are dirty, we can get Zane to wear Blue Shoes. He looks cute as a button, but make no mistake, Blue Shoes do not take the place of Brown Shoes. Ever.

Since it’s summer and I have a very hot-blooded little boy, I crazily – what was I thinking?! - bought him a pair of sandals.

Last fall, we had the same Brown Shoe Struggle with his then-favorite sandals. The kid refused to wear any other shoes but those sandals, so in November we were sending him out of the house in the classic sock-sandal combination which has been rocking the suburbs since 1966. This year, however, he refuses to wear sandals. No Sandals is a common refrain in our house.

In fact, he’d rather wear these than his sandals.

There is a really good lesson in all this about letting go and not engaging in power struggles with your child. I’m trying to learn it, but I really want him to wear the sandals. He’s only allowed them on his feet twice. But they are his feet. That’s my new mama mantra – They are his feet. If he wants them to be hot, then that’s up to him. (See I’m totally getting this mama talk.)


Dustin said...

Is it wrong that I'm jealous of Little Man's shoe collection (especially those Wellingtons)? He'll come around. Good shoe fashion is genetic so between you and SRH, it's only a matter of time. I promise you, one day Little Man will come bounding up to you and say "Can I get this pair of Kenneth Coles?"

Zany Mama said...

Dustin -
Do not tease me. The truth is that I may just have to learn to accept my child's lack of interest in stylish footwear. It's a cross to bear, to be sure, but the sooner I come to terms with it, the better...

Thanks for the encouragement, though. Sometimes when you're down, you just need to hear the kind words of a guy who is shaving.