Monday, 3 November 2008

Parenting challenges

Last week I hit my first major parenting challenge.

It snowed. Which meant I had to buy my toddler boots.

Gasps of horror, I know!

First I had to figure out what size his feet were. I've been careful about what shoes he wears. We started off with Robeez, which were great. When he wore a hole through those and needed something tougher for outdoors, we switched to Robeez Tredz - also great. Unfortunately, they're all sized by months, so I hadn't the foggiest idea what his shoe size was.

I picked up a boot that looked about the same size as his shoe. I went to slip it onto his foot...and that was about as far as I got. I pushed, I jammed, I rammed, I pushed some more - that boot was not going on his foot. Fine. I tried a bigger size. More pushing, more ramming - five minutes later I was sweating, he was giving me this weird look, and I was ready to call off the boot hunt and just carry him around all winter with several layers of socks on.

So we tried a different store. I found a boot that had a liner - surely that would make it easier somehow.


I'm pretty sure I had people laughing at me as I tried to jam this stupid boot onto his foot. He thought it was pretty hilarious, anyway.

At this point I started getting a little irrational. As in the "why would anyone let me raise a kid when I don't even know how to buy him boots!!" sort of irrational.

Yes. It was boots that first made me feel like a failure at this whole parenting thing.

Not sleep issues. Not food issues. Not discipline issues.


And so it went, boot after boot, size after size, style after style. Most boots felt like trying to ram an oversized couch around a corner in a skinny hallway, only his foot was the oversized couch and the boot was the woefully small and unyielding hallway. Some boots managed to fit on his foot, but then he couldn't walk in them, they were so tall and stiff (although I must confess it was a bit amusing to watch him try). Some boots weren't up to the challenge of keeping little feet warm enough during a cold Canadian winter. And some boots were just plain ugly.

Finally we managed to find two half-decent options. They fit on his feet with minimal swearing and sweating, they felt toasty warm, he could walk in them, and they were pretty cute to boot (pun fully intended - you may commence groaning now). Hubby and I agreed on one of the two pairs, me because it was the more flexible of the two, him because it just so happened to be a Toronto Maple Leafs boot (his favourite hockey team - and, by extension, the boy's favourite until he's old enough to start cheering for the Ottawa Senators just to make his dad mad).

Success! We bought the boots, and the little guy spent the rest of the evening gleefully stomping around the house in them.

Turns out I might be able to handle this parenting thing after all.


  1. I feel the same way about boots.. but for me.. haha

  2. Hahaha!! We have been *all over* town trying to find Helena boots this week. LL Bean has really nice ones -but they are SO stiff that she marches(not walks) in them. So far she doesn't have a new pair and is still wearing last years Ugg knockoffs which now that they fit are no longer very warm. We always buy a size big for extra circulation and warmth!! So wish us luck! :)

  3. Oh, about the Obama/McCain post....

    I would like more info on the Obama being anti-homeschool thing. I read over (skimmed) his entire educational platform and saw nothing of that nature.

    Yes, he is very for public ed for preschool and younger. As he is a democrat who is concerned about the poor tho, I can understand that. While I think ideally young children should be home with parents, I know for a fact many are better off in a *quality* daycare where they are less likely to be parked in front of a tv 24/7 and where their media viewing will be geared toward children not porn and violence as is the case with a lot of inner city children. I also know of some middle class families where preschool is necessary simply because the children do nothing but watch tv/computer all day at 4 yrs old and are *way* behind on verbal skills and social skills. So I do understand where he is coming from. So long as it's voluntary I see nothing wrong with him wanting to improve public ed. including in the arena of making it available for younger children.

    Ideally we could better equip the parents, but honestly that would be ineffective with most inner city parents espec those where both parents are working anyway.

    But then if he is truly anti- homeschool I am all ears and very opposed....

    Also the anti-parental choice on vaccines I'm curious about. Last I'd heard he was saying that vax are linked with autism and was very much for further research on them and selective vaccinations.

    So please give me more details... :) Thanks!

  4. Gah, I know what you mean! Unfortunately for us, they don't seem to make boots in Hannah's size. I guess size 4 toddlers don't wear boots?

  5. haha. This is funny. It's never really cold enough to have boots here, but I do feel your pain. I think shoes for kids are awkward anyway.

  6. Rebecca, here is the article where Obama states that he is "not for selective vaccination."

    Regarding homeschooling, Obama is not "anti-homeschooling"; he is, however, very much for government intervention in education and parenting. A review of his educational platform points strongly in that direction. I do understand your points about the sort of family environments his programs are aimed at, I just disagree with the way Obama wants to go about solving those problems. As for homeschooling in particular, Obama is very silent on the issue (but, again, his educational platform demonstrates strong gov't intervention in education in general), whereas McCain has been repeatedly explicit in his support of homeschooling and parental freedoms.

    I hope that answers your questions. :)

  7. *gentle chuckle* Now this is an honest entry from a real mom. I enjoyed every word of it, especially the part where you said you could handle everything but the boots thing. Too cute.....