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Maddie Cry Shoe Shopping!

Last fall Maddie and Gamma and I made our first official foray into that venerable female institution, Shoe Shopping. Madeleine had a wonderful time, running around the store, trying everything on, and looking at all her shoe choices in the mirror before picking a couple of pairs. Mom and I were convinced we’d done a proper inaugural job and Maddie was officially a Shoe Shopper.

Fast forward to this year.

A few weeks ago I noticed Maddie’s everyday outdoor boots were getting a bit tight on her. We headed off to the mall, Maddie talking excitedly the whole way about going shoe shopping. As soon as we got in front of the store, though, she began wailing and saying, “No shoe shopping! No take shoes off!” Perplexed, I herded her inside and she pulled herself together sufficiently to scope out the different styles. As soon as we sat down to remove her shoes and measure her feet, though, she melted down – Nuclear Level 5. I reluctantly called an end to the shopping episode and we headed home, Maddie once more happy and me assuming it was a one-time thing.

With Maddie mentioning again that her shoes felt a bit tight, we tried once more last week and our results were absolutely the same. Maddie chattered the whole way, then freaked out. I took off my shoe and measured my foot first, but that did nothing. I explained that we wouldn’t make her try anything on – just measure and go. Nada. Desperate to get through this, I grimly ripped her shoe off her writhing body and measured her foot. I know, I know. I felt horrible doing it, but I needed to at least get a size out of the journey so I could order online! Maddie clung to me, sobbing, the rest of the time in the store as I tried to pull her back together. The saleslady politely inquired if Madeleine had been to the doctor recently – nope.

I’m honestly at my wit’s end on this. Has anyone else had this happen? Madeleine still loves to look through her shoe selection (two pairs) every morning and decide which ones she feels like wearing that day. She still gets excited every Sunday when the shiny black ones come out. But she will not go Shoe Shopping. And with most stores’ return policies, I’m afraid to buy much without trying on.

The result of last week’s Time of Terror is that Maddie tells everyone she meets how much she hates shoe shopping. Standing in line at Macy’s Maddie smiled at the woman next to her and said, “Maddie cry shoe shopping.” She reminds me of this about once a day, either proud of the fact, simply reminiscing, or anxious to make sure I remember that this is not a fun thing for Maddie.

If you’ve been through this, please tell me. Is it a phase? (Lie if it’s not.) Do you have any suggestions? While my husband is appropriately sympathetic, I can tell he thinks there’s worse things than raising a daughter that hates Shoe Shopping. Just this morning Maddie was eating her oatmeal and looked up at Daddy, saying solemnly, “Maddie cry shoe shopping.”

To which he grimly replied, “So does Daddy, kiddo.”

Thanks, hon.


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