My son hates shoes. No sorry, that doesn’t do it justice. Hate just isn’t a strong enough description for the feelings my son has torwards shoes. My son has an extremely deep seated abhorrence to the very idea of shoes. His loathing knows no bounds, and his aversion so extreme that to merely place them near him causes a rancor in his very soul. To wear shoes is to die a painful death a thousand times over, writhing in the depths of despair and agony. Purgatory itself would be a paradise compared to the encapsulation of his feet. Hell hath no fury like my son who has caught sight of the Devil’s footwear… Or at least that’s how he makes it seem. The world is apparently coming to an end, for the way he carries on. Screaming, crying, kicking and thrashing. That is what I’m faced with every time I even attempt to place shoes upon his feet. Scorn, derision and malice. That’s how he looks at me if I dare to bring a pair out of the cupboard.
Ok, straight talking now. I can’t get shoes on Stormaggedon. At all. When I bring the shoes out he knows exactly what it is I’m about to do. Sometimes he’s quite happy to play with the shoes. Other times he walks away from me. But if I try to put them on his feet he will pull his legs away, or push the shoes away. At first he’ll think it’s a game, giggling and laughing away. But the more insistent I become, the more agitated he becomes to the point where he starts chucking a tamtrum. So far I’ve only managed to get shoes on Stormy twice; the first time he pulled them off immediately and the second he cried so hard that I just gave in and took them off myself.
I’ve asked for help in this matter but I seem to only get two responses. The first being “Does he really HAVE to wear shoes? Can’t he just roam free? Shoes aren’t all that necessary are they?” and the second being “You just need to suck it up and force him. Ignore his crying, he’s just manipulating you. You’re the parent, just show him who’s boss.” Neither of which is really all that helpful or practical.
So while I struggle with the shoe situation, I can’t help but think to myself, as I’ve done on many occassions before, Stormaggedon will NEVER wear shoes. I picutre him running around shoeless in shopping centres and playgrounds and highschool, all the while I get stares from the judgemental people wondering why I failed to put shoes on my child. He’ll go barefoot down the aisle at his wedding, he’ll shirk shoes in the office, and inevitably look like a bum all the time. I also know that once again I’m completely overreacting. Of course he’ll wear shoes one day. Clearly I just have to figure out how to deal with the tantrums in the meantime.
But while we’re on the topic of things that my child with “never” do, here are 5 things that I was convinced he would never do, and eventually did.
1. Stop breastfeeding. Absolutely convinced myself that I would still be feeding him from my boobs by the time he was 20. Jokes by friends and family members to such an effect didn’t help my anxiety and state of mind. “Bitty” will forever send chills down my spine. But he did eventually start to wean once he was on 3 solid meals a day, and by the time he was 13 months it was all said and done.
2. Drink from a bottle. Connected to the breastfeeding issue I tried to get Stormy onto a bottle from about 5 months, and for about 2 and half months he outright refused. Much in the same manner that he acts towards shoes. Then one day he just spontaneously started drinking from the bottle I offered him. I remember thinking to myself “Well there was nothing to worry about after all”. I also thought that I coulld totally feel my past self curse my future self for this sort of thinking.
3. Sleep through the night. I’m still marvelling at this one. 10 and a half long months and it took the technique of controlled crying to get him to sleep for more than 4 hours at a time. Unfortunately my own body clock was so screwed by the constant waking that I still haven’t slept the whole night through since his birth. I’ll NEVER sleep through the night again…
4. Walk. For months Stormy walked around holding onto everything. The walls, the furniture, and his own walker toys. But he was never confident enough to let go. At first it didn’t really worry me. But when he got to 15 months, and I felt like EVERYONE else’s kids were walking before him I started to get concerned. Then one day about a month ago, mid tantrum of all things, he was distracted enough that he practically ran over to me. I’ve never laughed so hard.
5. Do a poo ever again. When Stormy first started on solids his bowl movements became a bit slow and erratic. Because he was still suffering from colic at the time, I used to blame his pain on absent bowl movements. I’d read and re-read articles about babies and bowl movements, and even though an absence of up to 3 weeks is still considered normal, I couldn’t help but be incredibly stressed out when he didn’t do one for 3 days. Eventually when his system became used to real food it started to even itself out. Word of advice: lots of water, lentils and pear is very good.
So every time I said “he’ll never do X” I was always wrong. I know I’m wrong. Of course he’ll wear shoes one day. And if anyone has any (real, useful and practical) advice on how to get him to wear them, I’d really love to hear it. Leave a comment below.
Now if only I could get him to stop sucking his thumb…