My grandmother died this morning (more on that when we get back from the funeral trip) and I suddenly decided that The Who needed a button-down shirt to go under one of his sweater vests for shiva. He has button-downs. A few, even. But they are corduroy or plaid or orange checked and they just don’t go. (Plus, they’re either shrinking madly or he’s growing at warp speed. Suddenly his wrists are showing in all of his 2T shirts.) And then while I was getting a new shirt, I thought, well, he needs new shoes, too. Not fancy Stride Rites or anything. Just a pair from Target or Marshall’s or something. All he has are hand-me-down, scuffed sneakers, which are fine for every day, but I pictured him in his pinstripe pants, his new button-down, a sweater vest, and…ratty old sneakers. Oh, no. No no no.
Listen, I won’t be offended if you write this little spree off to the My-Grandmother-Just-Died crazies. I think I was afflicted with them all day, barely able to write a sentence, eating only a bowl of soup, and having the sudden, nearly uncontrollable urge to go get acrylic nails put on (what?) but whatever you call it, there I was in Marshall’s, just trying to get my kid some shoes.
Do you know how hard it is to find a boy some shoes when spring and summer are approaching? There were three aisles of what they called “Toddler Dress and Play” shoes and, oh, maybe eight pairs of them were either “boy” or neutrally gendered. Of those eight, two were sandals, six were definite sneakers, and one was 80% sneaker, 20% hideous. The rest of the three rows? Probably 40 pairs of “girl” shoes. I wish I were exaggerating. Silver lamé sandals, white sandals, brown sandals with pink flowers. Chunky flip-flops, strappy gladiator sandals, white slip-on sneakers. Bedazzled Chuck Taylor-styled sneakers, white patent leather party shoes, and espadrilles. Espadrilles. I shit you not. Teeny, tiny espadrilles.
It’s a good thing they didn’t really have anything because as it was, I came home with two shirts, a pair of pants, and a t-shirt (plus two new books for the trip) and I absolutely did not need to spend any more money. But, still. I need to live somewhere where they value the metrosexual toddler. Just because my kid’s got boy-parts doesn’t mean he doesn’t want some awesome kicks. I mean, really.