Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

My daughter seems to be caught between two worlds. At times she is desperate to be all grown up and at other times she wants to be babied. The other day she told me that she would like to invent a time machine so that she can go back in time and be an infant once more. I told her that I enjoyed her baby days but that I am not all that interested in wiping her butt all over again.

Even while waxing poetic about being a newborn, she is simultaneously asking me for a pair of shoes that have a bit of a heel on them.  A few weeks ago, I bought the kid a new pair of dress shoes.  While I was at the shoe store (alone), I spotted a pair of black shoes with a small heel. Small, but slightly higher than I was comfortable with. I put them back and opted for a dressy ballet flat.  In the back of my mind, I knew she would have wanted the ones with heels, but I could not seem to bring myself to buy them.  "She's too young for that," I thought.

I bought the shoes (the flat ones) with the upcoming Daddy-Daughter Dance in mind.  I picked up a sparkly dress for her as well. She cannot wait to go to this dance.  It must be a special thrill to her to cavort with her friends while leaving her socially awkward father standing around like some sullen chauffeur.  He doesn't mind taking her, though. The other day I reminded him that he needs to order a corsage for the dance. A few minutes later, he came to me and asked, "The corsage is for her, right?" No, it's for Sarah Palin. I thought it would look pretty on her. I love that guy I married but remain perplexed about how his brain works.

Now that the dance is coming up, my daughter has started lobbying for a pair of shoes that have a heel. I told her that I will think about it, provided I get nothing but perfect behavior from her for the week leading up to the dance. I think her shoe request is two-pronged. One, she simply wants to be taller. Two, she wants to be fancy and grown-up. For a mom, though, this feels like a slippery slope.  When my fourteen-year-old niece was visiting last summer, she mentioned several times that my sister does not give her enough freedom.

"Blondie thinks you should cut her some slack," I told my sister. "She's a good kid."

"I can't cut her some slack," she responded. "Cutting her some slack will lead to her smoking meth under the stairs."  My niece is an honors student and the worst thing she's done is probably something like going to bed without brushing her teeth.  But, I get where my sister is coming from.  This is why the idea of buying heels for my daughter led me to think that these tiny heels will somehow, someday lead to six-inch Lucite heels and a stripper name like Autumn Summers.*

But, the sane part of me knows that my daughter just wants to be a little taller, a little cooler, a little more grown-up.  And so, today I stopped at the store and bought her a pair that looks a lot like this:**


*I am tempted to Google this and see if there really is a stripper by that name, but I'm going to resist the urge. 

**Don't tell her I bought them. I'm planning to extract a couple more days of good behavior out of her. You call it extortion, I call it creative parenting. Tomato, to-mah-to.

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