I had 2 things on my agenda for this weekend: Buy the kiddos new sneakers and commit to officially potty-training our almost 3 year old, Mr. C. It’s hard to say which task would be more challenging! After trying reward stickers (and removing stickers from the toilet, floor and furniture), treats like a Cadbury mini egg for a pee and a whole lot of praise and applause, I decided to purchase a set of hand stamps to exclusively be used as potty rewards. Mr. C LOVES our alphabet stamps so I had a feeling he would be very excited to have a set of stamps with fun shapes on them such as hearts, puppy paws and happy faces. I was right! 3.5 year old Miss M affectionately named them “Pee & Poo stamps” and even though she has been potty-trained for almost a year, she has decided that she now needs a hand stamp for each “deposit.” It’s a small price to pay to keep the potty-training enthusiasm alive!
The kids have needed new running shoes for a while. They grew like weeds over the winter months and have outgrown their shoes from the fall but this wasn’t a task I was about to do alone. Two toddlers trying on shoes with a 5 month old baby in tow is a minimum 2 person job! So, I recruited Hubby. Lucky him!
Off we went to the mall where both kiddos were quickly overstimulated by the selection. Our little diva, Miss M wanted to try on every single shoe whether it was made for babies, men or women and Mr. C…. Well, he wanted nothing to do with the whole ordeal.
After dragging him to 3 different shoe stores that didn’t have a single pair of shoes in his size, and dealing with at least 87 toddler meltdowns, I remembered that he had been pretty jealous of his cousin, Mr. L’s light-up Paw Patrol running shoes at Easter. I sent a text to my cousin (Mr. L’s mom) to ask where she had bought them. When she responded, I told Mr. C that if he could suffer through one more shoe store, we could get him Paw Patrol shoes! “Paw Patrol shoes? I LOVE Paw Patrol shoes! Yay!” he squealed. Miss M quickly piped in “I want Paw Patrol shoes too!” Sure. Fine. Whatever! Paw Patrol shoes for everyone! Hubby and I loaded the crew into the car and off we went to the home of the Paw Patrol shoes; otherwise known as Payless Shoe Source.
We unloaded the gang, buckled 5 month old Mr. O into the stroller and, after Miss M and Mr. C practically had a UFC fight over who would press the button for the automatic door opener, we were in! Victory was soon to be ours… Or so we thought!
The store did have the Paw Patrol shoes we were seeking but not in either of our kiddos’ sizes. The store clerk said that this particular shoe flies off of the shelves and is almost impossible to keep in stock. It’s no surprise really! Paw Patrol has become quite the toddler phenomenon. Even though they only had the shoe in teeny, tiny sizes, both kids insisted on trying them on. It was like the scene from Cinderella where the 2 stepsisters squish their gynormous feet into the glass slipper, insisting that it fit!
The store clerk was kind enough to check the inventory at nearby stores to save us a drive (and get us the hell out of there, no doubt!). She also told us that they would have new stock arriving on Tuesday around 5:30 pm if we wanted to come back for them. However, there was a catch. The Paw Patrol shoes don’t come in Miss M’s size. Mr. C’s size was the biggest. Yikes. We thanked her and left empty-handed (after prying purses, slap bracelets and socks from our toddlers’ tight grips.). Sorry kiddos! No Paw Patrol shoes for you!
We went home. Mr. C was exhausted and stressed. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it wouldn’t be fair to have promised both kids Paw Patrol shoes and then only get them for Mr. C. Judging by how determined Miss M was to squeeze her size 12 foot into a size 5 shoe, she wasn’t about to take “They don’t come in your size” as an answer. Or, at least not well.
She had tried on a nice pair in the first store we visited. I decided to run back and buy them. And, now that Mr. C has had his foot measured, I would try to find him a pair of shoes and spare him the hassle by just bringing them home to him. Miss M wanted to come too. So, we left our boys at home with Daddy and went shopping again.
We arrived at the first store and bought Miss M her shoes. Success! 1 down, 1 to go! Since we had already exhausted our options at that mall, we set out to another mall. Hand-in-hand, we trudged through that busy mall searching every shoe store for a running shoe for our Mr. C. Miss M told everyone she saw that we were buying shoes for her brother. As we walked down the main corridor of the mall, we passed a woman wearing a burqa, to which Miss M squealed “Ooooh! I wish I had a little hood like that! I want a leopard one… With sunglasses.” Alriiiiight.
After exhausting all shoe store options again and stopping for an emergency pee break, we were just about to give up when I saw the Marshall’s sign at the end of the hallway. If we were in a movie, I’m pretty sure the heavens would have parted and the sun shone down as the angels sang!
Look! I said to Miss M! Let’s try the store with the big M! Naturally, Miss M is a HUGE fan of the letter M so she was rejuvenated with energy as she excitedly skipped down to the “big M store.”
Once again, there were no toddler size 10’s. It must be an incredibly popular size. One of the store clerks had told me that all of the good moms had purchased their kids’ new shoes a couple of weeks ago on March break when the weather was nice and they haven’t yet replenished their stock. Well, she didn’t say the part about “good moms” but adding that in makes it a far more interesting tidbit of information.
Finally, after scanning shoe boxes for the number 10, Miss M excitedly squealed “I found it! I found the number 10!” She was right! She had found the number 10! I cringed as I opened the toddler size 10 shoe box, fully expecting to see girls’ dress shoes or a pair of flip flops but to both of our surprises, it was a pair of good looking blue and green Nike runners! Sold!
We hightailed it up to the checkout. Miss M held on to the shoebox tightly. While we waited in line she turned around to the 20-something year old guy behind us and announced “We have pee & poo stamps at home! We get 1 for pee and 2 for poo! I like the kissy lips one! See?” as she extended her hand towards him. SERIOUSLY, child?!!!
Finally it was our turn. Miss M excitedly plopped the box on the counter. The cashier opened the box then smiled at her and said “Wow! I love your pretty shoes!”
Wait! What? Pretty shoes? Am I buying my son girls’ shoes? My heart started to pound in panic as she checked the sizes and removed the security tag. I decided that she had said pretty because Miss M had put them on the counter. They were boys shoes. Or at least unisex!
We left feeling successful. Two toddlers. Two pairs of shoes! I ignored the fact that it was snowing in April on the way home so running shoes really weren’t a necessity anymore. Miss M couldn’t wait to put her new kicks on as soon as we got home and model them in one of her signature outfits.
Hubby took a peek inside it. “Are these for Miss M?” he asked. My stomach flipped. “No… She’s wearing hers. Those are for Mr. C,” I replied. “Aren’t they girls’ shoes?” “No, they aren’t girls’ shoes. Wel I don’t think they are girls’ shoes. They are blue and green! Do you think they are girls’ shoes?” I asked. “I don’t know. But when I first saw them, I thought they were for Miss M.” he answered. Crap! I told him that they were in the boys’ section at the store and about the cashier calling them ‘pretty’ and how I had assumed she had said that because Miss M was holding them. Hmmm.
We decided to just wait and see if Mr. C liked them. At the end of the day, they were blue and green running shoes. If he likes them, he can keep them.
While I bathed the kids before bed, my darling husband took it upon himself to look up the SKU number on the tag of the shoes and google it until he successfully found a website that sells the shoe and describes it as being for “preschool girls.” Oh, what I would do to have such time and determination to be right! (Total sarcasm.)
We still decided that if Mr. C liked them, we would keep them.
The next morning when Miss M excitedly put on Her new shoes to start the day, a refreshed Mr. C asked for his new shoes. Before handing him the box to open, I told him not to take the tags off. He had to try them on and decide if he liked them. If he did, we would take the tags off but if he didn’t, I would need the tags attached in order to return them. He said okay and opened the box. “I love them!” He squealed. “They are blue and green! I love them Mommy! I really love them! Can I take the tags off?” No, Buddy! Let’s try them on and see if they fit first! I helped him put them on his feet and asked him to take a little walk in them. He opted to run. “I can run so fast! And jump so high!” He said as he jumped down to the floor and ripped the tags off. Well, that settled it. Girls shoes or not, we are keeping them!
I helped him take them off so he could change out of his pajamas to start the day. Today was potty-training day. He picked out his underwear of choice and opted to kick the day off with no pants. Fine by me. One less thing to pull down in a potty emergency!
When he saw Miss M twirling around the living room in her new running shoes, he asked to wear his new shoes.
I helped him put them on his feet and asked him if he had to go pee. “No! Not yet, Mommy!” he exclaimed, while running off into the playroom.
“Okay! But just remember that you are wearing underwear so if you have to go pee, you have to go on the potty! Otherwise you will get all wet and you definitely don’t want to wet yourself while wearing your new….”
And before I could finish, I heard the sound of liquid hitting the hardwood floor. I turned to see Mr. C standing legs apart in a squat position with a “deer in headlights” stunned look on his face as pee ran down his legs and all over his new shoes, forming a large puddle on the playroom floor.
I wanted to cry.
Don’t move! I said calmly but sternly.
I pulled the shoes off of his feet. They were completely soaked. “Sorry, Mommy!” he said, sensing my disappointment. It’s okay, Honey. You have to remember to go on the toilet when you are wearing big boy underwear!
I cleaned him up while trying to keep the potty-training momentum going and then grabbed a roll of paper towels to try to soak up as much pee as I could from inside the shoes. I was fighting back tears and angry with myself for secretly being this upset over a freakin’ pair of shoes. It wasn’t so much the shoes as the whole ordeal of getting them that I didn’t want to repeat.
As I sat on the floor, blotting away at the shoes, filling balled up paper towel with urine while trying to come up with a remedy, Miss M stood over me and asked “Can you put my hair in a princess bun? Where are you going to take us tomorrow? Can I watch a show? Can we put our boots and snow coats and mittens on and play outside in the snow? Can we build TWO snowmans? Can we do a craft? Do you know where my princess bracelet is? I NEED to find it!”
STOP. Mommy just needs a couple minutes of QUIET please.
“They” say you learn something new everyday. Today, I learned that tying a brand, new pair of pee-soaked shoes tightly inside of a pillow case and then washing them on the “Delicate” cycle with a full load of towels will clean them up perfectly without ruining them. A lesson that I suppose is worthwhile to learn when you have 3 kids, 3 years of age and under.
I also learned that on the first day of official potty-training, a toddler claiming that he doesn’t have to go pee should probably be investigated a little further.