Saturday, May 4, 2013

Does the Shoe Fit? (My Nanny Diary)

Apparently not, and I have the blisters to prove it.  I bought a pair of shoes a while ago, and I haven’t worn them but maybe once or twice.  They’re simple, rather plain flats.  Nothing exciting, flashy, or high-heeled.  I put them on last Sunday to wear to Mass and ended up regretting that decision even before we made it to church. 
We stopped by the grocery store to pick up some fruit on our way, and my right foot was really hurting me.  I took my shoe off and got out what I thought was a piece of rice, something white, but my foot hurt just as badly, if not more, after I did that.  I got to the car and discovered I had not one but two blisters on my right foot.  The skin had come off leaving really sore reddish spots. 
It had been so long since I’d even put those shoes on that it’s quite possible I wore them once and thought that I needed to break them in at some point.  Now, I’m sure that someone else needs to break them in, once they buy them from Goodwill where I dropped them off today. 
I try to keep these incidents in mind when kids clothing or shoes are too small or too big for them.  It can make me uncomfortable and even irritable to have ill-fitting footwear or apparel, and I am able to tell pretty quickly what it is that’s causing a problem.  Kids just get frustrated, and think something’s not working right, but they don’t really know what’s wrong. 
I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind purchasing footwear that’s four sizes or more too big for a kid and having them wear the far-too-roomy shoes every day.  Yes, they’ll grow into them, but first they’ll trip and fall a million times on the playground.
Some of the most amusing incidents have occurred with young children who have particularly small waists.  I can remember one adorable toddler in particular whose pants would often slip down below his diaper at which point, he’d step right out of them and run off when we were at home.  I’m not sure how much of his “loathing for clothing” (as I call the attitude many infants and toddlers have about getting dressed) had to do with the size of his clothes, whether too big or too small, but I do remember he was diligent about removing whatever he could as quickly as possible.    
This has been a common occurrence for the little ones in my care.  While out on walks, I’ve most often seen the little ones remove and toss to the sidewalk their hats, socks, and shoes.  Only once did I have to park the double stroller on the sidewalk and dodge traffic at a busy crosswalk where there’s no traffic light to retrieve a shoe. 
Another time when I was taking a little one for a stroll in the warmer months, she removed one of her sandals and tossed it over the side of her stroller without me noticing.  We got home before I realized she was missing a shoe.  I could not for the life of me locate the little girl’s white sandal when I retraced our steps, so I offered to go to the mall and buy a new pair since the family was leaving on a trip to London in the next couple days and wouldn’t likely have time to replace them beforehand.
Just keep it in mind the next time you put on something that’s a bit too snug or try and make something much too big work and are really uncomfortable.  It’ll help you be more empathetic and sensitive to the wardrobe choices for little ones in your care, especially when you’re the one who chooses what they wear.  After all, grumpy is a pretty normal reaction to clothes or shoes that don’t fit right (at least in my opinion).  
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