A Bridge


I pulled to a stop in front of the kids shoe section. Why are kids so rough on shoes? One second they look fine, the next they are falling apart. Maybe it is crappy construction?

My daughter dang near fell out of the cart trying to reach for the pink sparkly shoes that were four sizes too small that had caught her eye. 

“Sweetheart, that’s too small for you.” 

Cue the histrionic wailing. 

I pried the shoes out of her grubby death grip and placed them back on the shelf only to turn around and find my son hanging upside down from the end of the cart.

How the hell did he do that so fast?!?!??!

I dragged him off and put him back on his feet only to discover that my daughter had grabbed another pair of sparkly pink shoes. These were four times too big.

More wailing.

I cursed myself for thinking that taking the two of them shopping for shoes would be a good thing. 


The balance of power was stacked against me…

At that moment I looked up to find a surgeon that I refer to quite a bit staring wide eyed at the insanity. She had been watching the whole spectacle. Her daughter was standing beside her quietly, perfectly well behaved. 

The woman was perfectly coifed and dressed in a chic casual outfit, not an ounce of flab anywhere on her body.

I was dressed in my running clothes: ponytail, hat, wind shorts, tank top, barely any make-up. I was suddenly self conscious about my squishy parts.

Her daughter was clean, dressed adorably in an outfit that matched perfectly.

My daughter looked like a garish, heroin addicted color blind princess. I had let her pick her outfit this morning. At least she felt beautiful as she cowered in the bottom of the shopping cart, making odd frightened bunny sounds.

“Hi!” my son volunteered, recognizing that she and I knew each other. “We made Bantha bowls and blue light-saber ice pops this morning.” He said it matter-of-factly as of it was the most natural thing to say to a woman he had never actually met before.

The woman stared back. Then she laughed. 

And smiled.

All was well in the shoe aisle.


114 thoughts on “A Bridge

  1. Pshaw. In all honesty Victo, it is easy to get kids to behave – you just have to beat and verbally intimidate them. I was never hit as a child and have never hit a child in anger.It has been shown over and over that kids who are allowed to express themselves verbally and through actions, turn out to be happier, healthier, and even smarter adults. I wouldn’t worry at all about your kids – I might worry about your friend’s kid. Although, in my experience – and I am sure in your job you can verify this – kids’ attitudes and personalities vary wildly. And often they are independent of their environment. Which is to say, they will be what they will be.

    As proof of their excellent mental health -it was your small son who recognized the social situation and responded perfectly with an ice breaker even before the adults did. That, Mi’Ldy is excellent mental health from every viewpoint.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Victo, you have two healthy, strong willed, rugged individuals for children. They are priceless and beautiful. I’m sure that some day they will make you proud. The perfect child does not exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t you love it. My kids were the active ones. When we had a play date with other moms and kids at the park, other kids would sit next to their moms like mushrooms and my son would take off like a rocket for the highest playground equipment. So I would hardly get to talk to the other moms. Love the part about letting your daughter pick out her clothes. My daughter was the same way. It was such a battle getting ready for school in the morning, I would let her pick what she wanted to wear and believe me it was never a cute little girly dress. She would often wear the same outfit and I was lucky if it matched. I always said she looked like l had picked her clothes out of a bin at Good Will. And the hair was a whole nother thing. No cute barrettes or bows. I thought the teacher must of thought of me as a neglectful parent. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh my goodness, tears of laughter are streaming down my face. This describes so many of my shopping trips – I never want to run into anyone I know! Also, “My daughter looked like a garish, heroin addicted color blind princess.” Oh, my. *wipes tears from my eyes* This is so my daughter every time we let her dress herself. Which, honestly, is most of the time. Velvet pink dress? Check. Spiderman shirt pulled over dress? Check. Minion socks? Mismatched? Check. Sophia princess shoes? Check. Combine that with her batgirl hat, and baseball sunglasses? *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laughed so hard at this: “My daughter looked like a garish, heroin addicted color blind princess. I had let her pick her outfit this morning.” I remember in vivid detail the first day my daughter dressed herself: socks and sandals, yellow trousers, sequinned top, and every piece of plastic jewellery she owned! I wouldn’t have her any other way. Well-behaved women rarely make history, dontcha know? πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love that quote because it is sooooo true! Thank you for reminding me. I remember the ridiculous things I used to wear that made me feel so beautiful as a kid. (Shudders) Actually, some of my elderly patients wear similar things. Perhaps at the beginning and ends of our lives are the real times we actually have it figured out right?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Everyone has those days! Damn those sparkly shoes. And the light ups. And the twinkle toes. And any other shoe that screams, “I’m the best, most girly shoes ever and without me you are the sum of sad! (for $54.99)” LOL
    I had/have two kids that are hard on shoes, and while I do not like spending much on kid stuffs, Sketchers really paid off for my son. He’d outgrow them before he wrecked them. The girls, well, it’s the littlest who’s hardest on shoes, which is good, cause if a kid’s gonna wear out shoes, it may as well be the smallest of three! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have heroin dependent clients who are solicitors … Just saying. I do identify with the trolley antics though, that brought back memories of having to get passed the candy aisle to the vegetables with two under five launching themselves at the sugar loaded treasure.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Perfect children. Really? You’re believing that? Sigh. I’m not a parent and I’m a misanthrope, as you know, so my mind goes to what kind of “training” ensued to have a perfectly poised child. And she’s a surgeon? Control. Freak. Kid is going to be in therapy for a long time. (Yes, gentle readers, I’m probably kidding.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Truthfully, the mom is sweet as can be which is why I use her so much. I imagine she has actually raised perfect kids and that I have a bunch of hooligans…. :-/ (I know her kids cannot possibly be perfect but if no one sees it, does it really count?)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Until puberty children have peaks of limitless energy. At least they did not ask for Air Jordans which stir up such a hype that you might as well never take your children to a shoe store.

    Until competitive sports I did not know exhaustion. I still wear my shoes until they fall apart. That is mandatory.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is one of the funniest posts I’ve read in awhile. I can just picture it, having been there myself.

    Now, fast forward about 20-25 years. Your kids will be normal, well-adjusted adults with lucrative jobs/careers and stable relationships, while that perfect little princess will likely still be struggling to find herself, possibly in undesirable ways. I know because I’ve see it with my own kids and their little prefect childhood friends.

    PS: You should save the post to show your kids in about 20-25 years. You’ll have a good laugh over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am binding a lot of these posts into a book for them! So glad it made you laugh. That other little girl? Who knows what time will hold, but she does have a good mom at least from what I can tell. I really hope she turns out well in the end and that my kids do too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s also possible that little girl was just being especially good that day. Maybe they were on their way to something special, and her mom told her only good little girls could go. Maybe other times, that little girl is just like yours was that particular day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The odds are that is the case. I was admittedly embarrassed, but there is no possible way a kid can ever be perfect all the time. Imaging her screaming at her mom with that crazy look in her eye that kids get when they are really angry always helps. I may not ever witness it with my own eyes but I know it has to exist. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This was really funny. I think a really well behaved child can make for a terrible adult. All the boundary testing that should be done in childhood is arrested and then is done in adulthood and it makes everyone miserable. That’s just a theory I have anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Delightful! Pink sparkly shoes, odd frightened bunny sounds, bantha bowls, and light saber pops! If you lived near me, I’d want to babysit your kids. Just for a couple of hours, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. the best things about children as that they have no problem being themselves, if they are allowed to do so, and usually that is just fine, really. and then we adults can learn again, then we go … duh! guess what, we can be ourselves too and be just fine even if we do have that script in the head going, “what are they going to think?”

    as for my theory as to why children’s shoes fall apart so fast, the kids aren’t hard on them, they make them cheap. unless you spend a TON of money on them, and then that seems just futile because of how fast they grow out of them, hence no real need to make them too well, because, of course, they are going to grow out of them. and then you find that one pair of shoes, sandals, perfectly pink and sparkly and on sale and even just slightly too big when trying them on really impractical, if you have a tendency to think, like i do, that pink and girls are not synonymous and really don’t want to reinforce that whole girlie girl programming we do in our fashion reality, yet, a good deal, she loves them, and prancing around the shoe aisle like she knows what she’s doing, so i submit. pink, sparkly sandals. and, then, to my great dismay for the whole pink-girl-stereotyping-disney-princess reality they represent in my head, those sandals are on her feet EVERY DAY (almost) and last until she actually truly did outgrow them, and that’s when the sadness hits. Then i wished i had bought her “best shoes ever!” in every size that was available. fyi, i caught my daughter (now going into the 10th grade) still wearing a pair of Vans we bought her on sale in 5th grade. duct tape. lol. shoes and kids, its a funny thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My favorite part of this post, besides your son’s proud statement, is that you let her dress herself. I had no choice. From the time she could walk and talk, my own has been picking out her daily outfit, which was almost never what I had laid out for her. No lie…her first complete sentence was “No, Mama, that one”, as she pointed up to something in her closet.

    Funny thing, she always had an eye for what looked best on her…still does. I was never an adviser when we went shopping, just an accessory…with a credit card. ☺

    These are the moments in life that you’ll write/talk about when they are grown up and on their own, Doc. Cherish them !!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Can’t stop laughing. You’re kids will grow up and be creative and comfortable with themselves. I love your son already and your daughter…why can’t she love sparkly things, shoes and all?

    I always got caught when I slipped out of the house for a quickie purchase with my daughter or alone. It’s hard shopping with two kids. Anyway. the other woman laughed and that’s great but even if she didn’t, who cares. ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hilarious! Kids – they go from making your day a disaster to memorable. Keep letting your daughter dress herself – it took me a good while to give in to this common sense, but she was a lot happier!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Bantha Bowls | Behind the White Coat

  18. Being judged and looked down upon by someone wealthier than myself is my Achille’s heel. It’s the thing that lays me flat more than just about anything else.

    Off topic: I’m sitting with my morning coffee in Bryant Park on 6th Avenue and 42nd street. As I type this, a man about 30 feet away is having a violent psychotic episode. He’s hitting himself in the head and flailing his body around. People are walking to work ignoring him. What a world.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: My Article Read (6-29-2015) | My Daily Musing

  20. I can only imagine what people have thought/think of me when I go out in public with my children after they have dressed themselves. It can be quite atrocious. But I don’t care.
    I know my daughter was in her favorite shirt and favorite skirt, even though one was leopard print and the other was polka-dot (though she wouldn’t do this now, oh no, she is a fashionable 7yo) and that the independence and confidence matter more than some piddly stranger’s opinion.
    I am happy to undress my 5yo son while he is sleeping and quickly wash and dry his Ninja Turtle footie pajamas and re-dress him so he can at least have on clean clothes since those are the only clothes he’ll wear when given the choice (going on a year now) (no choice given for school, though, sorry buddy, momma has to draw the line somewhere).

    Liked by 1 person

      • I like to give my kids choice when it’s appropriate. The way I see it, if I always choose for them, they’ll never learn how to make choices and discern between the good ones & the bad ones.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Whenever I’m dressed to the nines I never run into anyone. The second I step out of the house looking like a wild animal chased me through the woods, I’ll meet everyone I have ever known while doing errands…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Made me laugh, more out of recognition than anything. I rarely take my kids shoe shopping anymore. I bring the shoes home and have them try them on there. That, or my husband takes them. The complaining from him is almost as comical as yours. I love that you let your girl wear what she wants, I do too. Although I do wish some of my coordination advice would rub off on her a little more! I would be more envious of your running outfit: who has time to exercise!!

    Liked by 1 person

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