My daughter has two feet. And for that I am incredibly grateful. You see every morning we go through the same dance. Well maybe not every morning, more like 6 out of 7 mornings a week, and most definitely on the mornings when I am running late to get to work. The dance is all about putting on shoes. Two shoes and two feet.
It is impossible to plan for this dance because you never know how it is going to go. There is the one morning a week that she picks out shoes, puts them on the correct feet and is out the door before I get my shoes on. That day is glorious.
Then there are all the other days. Some combination of not being able to pick shoes or getting one shoe on then changing her mind and starting completely over with the picking process or only wanting to wear black shoes because her brother is wearing black shoes but she does not own any black shoes so now the world must end immediately. Two feet I think to myself, I only have to get through two feet.
There is also the task of dismantling whatever pair of shoes she is going to wear prior to putting them on her two feet. There might be pulling out velcro straps from hooks or clasps, removing laces, untying all bows that are decorative, removing inserts, or even attempts to peel off the soles if heaven forbid they are staring to fray a little at the edges which they do because she rubs her feet on rocks. The dismantling process must of course be completed for both shoes. Again I think to myself, only two feet, you can do this, it is only two feet. Parental patience will prevail.
Then we start the process of putting the shoes on the feet. And if you think you are going to help her with that process well you should just sit yourself down and think again because that would be wrong. Soooo wrong. And if you happen to be running really late and think you’ll speed things up by helping the process along, say by putting one of the shoes back together, well, you just made a critical error and now the world really does end. At least the world where you make it to work on time and your child is wearing shoes when you drop her off at school and no one is covered in tears or snot. But really, it’s only two feet, stay patient. Two feet. Imagine if she had three feet? Involuntary shudder of fear and horror.
So invariably the first shoe goes on the wrong foot. There’s technically a 50-50 chance but I think in reality it leans more towards 75-25 with the wrong foot-shoe combo winning out. And then there is the complaint that the shoes don’t fit anymore. And you being an adult say “it’s on the wrong foot, switch feet and it will fit better.” And that seems like a logical thing to say, but it is not. It is soooo not. Because now the child is insistent that the shoes don’t fit and now you have to go back to the beginning (meaning you start over at picking out shoes), because for some reason the child does not think she can put her shoes on the wrong feet, ever. So it’s best to just nod and smile (through increasingly gritted teeth because you are now at least 10 minutes into this process) and say “yup, we’ll have to see about getting new shoes soon.” And then the child puts the other shoe on the other wrong foot and says it feels great and smiles at you. Two feet. If my child had three feet I would never go anywhere because we would never make it out the door. That would be three shoes to go on three wrong feet. And my parental patience level barely makes two feet on a good day.
So now to go back to the beginning I simply want to say I am grateful that my daughter has two feet because I do not have the patience to deal with getting more little shoes onto more little feet. And if I were my own best friend I would remind myself to be grateful for the little things even if they seem very commonplace, like two feet.