Monday, 8 September 2008

New shoes

Foolishly, I have been shopping with Squirrel. Worse, she is now wearing these.*

The moment Squirrel's radar picked up these in the ninth circle of retail hell, her body made straight for them, her face lit up and her eyes flashed MINE! MINE! MINE! On auto response, Mummy Grit's robotic hands lifted the shoes from the rack and made for her purse containing all the family silver. Even though a residue human part of her brain woke up then and started screaming BAD IDEA! BAD IDEA! BAD IDEA!

But naturally, with a mummy mashed brain now led by the sudden infatuations of an eight-year old, I ignored that voice of experience in my head, passed through the checkout, and then deposited a pair of gold glitter shoes in Squirrel's eager hands. They nearly matched the enormous beaming radiance of her smile.

This should truly be taken as evidence of that instinct we mothers are very good at, that primary instinct called self sacrifice. The type of ritual disemboweling that goes on daily round here. One more step and it will be martyrdom, and then everyone's going to hear about that.

But in this case what has been sacrificed in exchange for Squirrel's pointless new shoes is Grit's ability to think independently and reason logically, along with the good taste she is sure she once possessed, but which it is now lying in a dark cupboard somewhere, along with some size 8 clothing, several pairs of high heels and something called dignity.

If I were to let reason guide me instead of the sparkling eyes of an eight-year old, I would have explained to Squirrel calmly and rationally that these are not exactly a pair of functional winter shoes for puddling purposes and they are unlikely to see us through the next field without the glitter dropping off.

What I would have also thought, but not said, is that there is no chance I can live with both Squirrel and Tiger in a house which contains only one pair of gold glitter shoes. When Tiger sees these, I fear I am doomed.

She will instantly fall in love with them, forsake us all to get her hands on them, and my life will be leaden and unbearable until I get her down the shoe shop. For Tiger, the best expression of her identity, when it is not a pair of jodhpurs, is a party dress in pink. Crushed red velvet with satin ribbon will do, but it is not nearly as good as pink with sequins and fake diamonds. Sparkly shoes would just set off that strawberry froth a treat. And soon enough I will be beating myself up that I did not buy at least five pairs of gold glitter shoes in three different sizes to last both Squirrel and Tiger through the winter.

Well it is too late now. Squirrel is armed and dangerous with these and this morning has walked downstairs with the equivalent of a couple of grenades strapped to her feet. I gambled on Shark peering at them in disdain and declaring them ridiculous because you cannot go sailing in them, and I have won that one. Tiger took one look at them along with an inbreath and declared loudly that Squirrel has new shoes and she has no new shoes and nothing to wear on her feet. We are now a whisper away from the claim that she has never had anything to put on her feet and this is evidence that she is not wanted in this family and may have to leave it to find a family that actually cares enough about her to let her wear sparkly shoes and a pink party dress at any time of the day and night and in the bath as well, because once on, she is never taking that outfit off and may possibly rather die.

Well then a remarkable thing happened. Because as Squirrel stood there in all her morning glory we all became aware of something horrible. Squirrel had appeared in her new glitter shoes in public for the first time teamed with a pair of blue striped socks and purple leggings with a hole in the knee. This was colour torture for my eye balls. In fact I was not the only one wincing in pain at the sight of that dog's dinner. After a moment Tiger's eyes started to narrow and her lip curl, and I could see a new wave of rationality and consideration sweep in. And at that moment I was so glad that she could see those colours and feel that pain at the age of eight. It certainly was not a reaction she would have experienced aged six.

And right now I am sighing in relief. I am not saying I am saved from the demand for a second pair of gold glitter shoes. Just that, for the moment, I have a stay of execution.

*I forced Squirrel to change into white socks for this photo. Oh yes I did.
And this proves that sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.


Minnie said...

Ah, at least you can find shoes to fit your gritlets. I cannot find any for Junior...she being of odd feet size. She is doomed to a life of wearing open=toed, Jesus boot type sandals:o((..unless I can find some place that sells odd shoes of girly appeal:o))

Suburbia said...

Oh that's so funny! I thought you were brave just buying one pair.

Perhaps you left your good taste behind in Pontins/Butlins!! ;)

sharon said...

My, you were brave buying just ONE pair of sparkly shoes. I think that deserves an award of some sort, is there a version of the Victoria Cross for reckless endangerment of Mother and The Family Purse?

Suggest an art lesson spent "sparklifying" some Wellinton boots for the Winter season. Although, if Summer was anything to go by perhaps "Practical Ark-building for Beginners" might be a better idea.

Kitty said...

No.1 has a shoe fetish: wherever we are, if there are shoes, her eyeballs are attached to the shelves as though on elastic. Drives me nuts!


Brad said...

There must be a trail of gold glitter running through the house by now. At least if she get's lost you'll have something to go on.

Grit said...

hello people! already these shoes are looking a little tatty round the toes; squirrel's smile has not yet quite worn off though.

Ruth said...

And I thought I'd given in when I shelled out for the pink trainers with hearts and kitties and flashing lights. Munchkin always points out the glitter shoes but so far I have refused, there's enough glitter around the house thanks to her 'gluing and sticking' creations.

Grit said...

hi ruth! it is like a war of attrition... how many days / months / years can we hold out!