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Maddie Have Fun Shoe Shopping!

Yes, you read the title right, and no, it’s not ironic. The world indeed is going mad.

As many of you know from a previous blog, my daughter had decided to hate shoe shopping. I finally broke down and ordered a home foot measuring kit, thinking I’d do the measuring myself and go online shopping. I reconciled myself to a few years with a girl who didn’t enjoy shoe shopping. Then this weekend we had a little mini-breakthrough!

While staving off Maddie’s cabin fever at the mall, I decided to run into Stride Rite and check out their shoes. They’ve got a good sale going on and a flexible return policy so I didn’t feel bad about buying shoes untested. With Brian around, he could distract Maddie at the Disney Store while I did the dreaded Shoe Shopping.

Not two minutes after I had ducked into the shoe store, I looked up to see Maddie smiling and waving at me from the entrance. I picked my jaw up off the floor as they made their way over – this was, after all, the girl who had thrown a huge crying fit at the mere threshold of the shoe store two weeks previously. When they got to me, Brian explained, “She wanted to be near you. She wouldn’t leave you.”

Aha! Separation anxiety has its rewards!

For about twenty minutes, Maddie shopped amongst the shoes, picking out which ones she did and didn’t like. Though she refused to try on shoes, measure her feet, or even remove her own shoes, she at least showed an interest in the selection. I picked out several pairs and ran home before our luck changed. She spent the rest of the day playing Shoe Shopping: lining up all the new pairs of shoes and moving them all about as she pretended to pick ones she liked. Madeleine even deigned to try some of them on briefly, so I could get an idea of whether or not they were keepers.

The next day added to the game’s dimension as the home measuring kit arrived. Now Maddie likes to measure everyone’s feet – mine, Brian’s, dolly’s, Elmo’s, whoever’s handy. Then she’ll start the browsing ritual all over. She likes to stand on the measuring device herself as well, though she still flatly refuses to put her heel against the back so we can get a real measurement.

While the process is excruciatingly slow – we’ve eliminated only two pairs in two days – at least it’s progress. And more importantly, we’ve changed her previous mantra – “Maddie cry shoe shopping!” – to “Maddie have fun shoe shopping!”

Home measuring kit: ten bucks.

Six pairs of shoes you probably won’t keep: a hundred bucks.

Finally getting your kid into a new pair of shoes that fit: priceless.


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