Thursday, 27 September 2007

Purple boots

Tiger is desperate. She wants some pink boots. She needs pink boots. If she does not have pink boots, she will probably die. Right here. Now. On the spot.

Grit, being a good mummy, has a big sigh and looks on ebay where there is a very fine pair of purple boots in Cardiff that she puts on watch and then forgets about, so the 99p bargain goes to Sparklady.

Apparently, nearly owning a pair of purple boots from ebay isn't quite the same as wearing a pair of pink boots you can call your own. So with another big sigh it's off to John Lewis to be measured properly and then buy a pair of pink boots. That's Grit's idea, anyway.

While mummy Grit makes an exhibition of herself shouting at the ticket machine and thumping the buttons, Tiger wanders about looking for pink boots. She can't find any. I point out a lovely pair of red ones. Tiger thinks they are horrible and says she's not wearing them. I say they are beautiful and wonder if I could squeeze my size 6 foot into a size 3 if I don't wear socks and scrunch up my toes.

Not actually seeing any pink boots and being told there aren't many boots this week because new stock is coming in next week, doesn't deter us, and Tiger's foot gets measured. Tiger does not like this at all in case the slide-thing hurts her toes. Squashing out Tiger's toes with my fingers means that she measures at 12 and a half. Fitting lady says she is astonished at how wide Tiger's feet are, well over H.

'What are you looking for?' asks the cheery lady.
'Pink boots' I reply.
'We haven't got any' says the lady. 'We haven't got any in boots in H fitting. Boots only go to G. But you could try 1G in boots. Here's a pair of red ones.'

Grit says they look beautiful and let's hug them and try them on. Tiger mutters. Fitting lady ignores her and presents them. Tiger mutters some more which sounds like never ever ever. Fitting lady ignores her some more. Admittedly, listening to what Tiger is saying is pretty difficult right now, since she speaks in a whisper and has no front teeth.

Well Tiger's facial gestures seem to do the trick, so the lovely red boots which should be Grit's by rights get taken away and fitting lady lifts up a pair of girly purple boots and says, 'We have these in 1G'.

Tiger looks interested. Then Tiger looks determined.

There's a lot of grunting and shoving and fleeting looks of surprised pain while Tiger crams her foot into one. 'It feels comfortable' she gasps in a strangled whisper, her little toes clearly bulging out of the sides. Fitting lady is shaking her head and tut tutting.

Then I come over all mother. 'Well', I say, 'when you're aged 18 you can shove your feet into anything you like. But right now I'm paying and I'm not paying for them if they don't fit'. My voice sounds just like my mother's at Clarks in Sherwood in 1967.

'We don't have any more boots in 1G' sings fitting lady. 'We have shoes in black in 1H'.
'I don wan black shoes', Tiger whispers urgently in my ear.
'Are they for school?' says fitting lady cheerfully.

Tiger's face contorts in horror and she shrinks behind me. Not only has she had her feet clamped in a vice, she's now about to be airlifted to the nearest primary.

'I don wano be here!' whispers Tiger. I theatrically whisper back. 'Do you want to go home?'
'Do you want to look somewhere else?'
Tiger gives a sly look to the black shoes coming in her direction. 'Yes' she croaks.

And so it's Next. They have pink boots. Not the right size. Then to Clarks, where it's a thirty minute wait for Sandra to appear from out the back. More tut tutting. Then to BHS who have pink boots but mummy Grit refuses to buy them on the grounds that they are revolting. Then it's Pumpkin Patch: Tiger hates their pink boots and they don't fit anyway. Then it's Mothercare, Debenhams and H&M.

The last stop is M&S, right at the other end of town. And there Tiger spots a pair of purple boots. She tries them on, declares she likes them and that they're comfortable. By now I'd probably agree to anything. It's taken four hours. And my feet are killing me thanks to these ill-fitting shoes I found at the charity shop last week. But as we happily trot back to the car and I watch my lovely pointed toes tippety-tap, I think that my shoes may be killing me, but at least they look good. But I wish they were in red.

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