Thinking Outside the Shoe Box

Let’s start with the problem:

“I have a blister on my heel but I want to wear my freakishly tight shoes anyway.”


Dress Smart. Act Smart.

I wish I could say it was my wisdom, my innate daddy brilliance that led me to refuse this issue. I would boast that I’m one of those enviable laid-back parents who practices Zen meditation over morning toast and realizes that all children grow up and that I needn’t worry so much.

But I can’t say that. Because in actual fact, I did worry, I tried to fix things, and I did everything wrong.

  • I suggested a different pair of shoes. (“But Asha has the same ones! I have to wear these!”)
  • I struggled to squeeze Fern’s right foot into the shoe without letting the fabric touch her tender heel. (Um, right. Did I mention that they’re a full size too small?)
  • I even got down a box of Band-Aids, but of course Fern has to apply her own Band-Aids, with the result that the shoe had even less of a chance of fitting than ever before. And now we’re out of Band-Aids.

Finally, cheesed off that my ideas were failing so reliably, I just shut up and hoped I’d be able to wrestle some normal shoes on her when we finally had to leave the house.

Predictably, within a minute of being left to examine the challenge on her own, Fern solved the problem: “I’ll wear mismatched shoes!” And she trotted off to get a comfortable and rightly-sized sandal for the blister foot, leaving the holy “Asha shoe” on the other.

Maybe she can’t pronounce the key word — she says “Mitch-Matched” — but don’t let that fool you. My daughter is way smarter than me.