Monica is nearly running now, so about a week ago, I decided it was time for *real* shoes. Up until recently, she's been toddling in Robeez, which just don't cut it outdoors, in stores, restaurants, etc. So, because she's little and we spend so little on clothes, (Thank you older cousins!) I decided to get her some quality footwear. Off to the mall we went.
When we arrived at the children's shoe store, Monica was her usual jovial self. She toddled about, picking up shoes, playing with little toys, and just enjoying herself. A sales woman soon approached and offered to measure Monica's foot so we could be sure to get a good fit. Right before she brought out the foot measuring plate, she warned me, "Some children really don't like this." I didn't respond, but thought to myself, "Eh, Monica won't be a problem. She's not the cranky type."
As soon as her little heel hit the plate, she let out the loudest, highest pitched scream I've heard in a long time. As long as she had a foot on that plate, she was bansheeing. It.was.painful. I was so surprised it took me a while to get my wits about me and shove the pacifier into her screaming mouth. That improved the situation somewhat while the sales woman went to the back to retrieve the requested shoes in the appropriate size, but as soon as the woman came back into view, Monica started to full out cry again. Even as the saleswoman kept her distance, the sound of her voice was enough to cause wimpering and high speed toddling for the exit. Another customer who was apparently shopping for older children was really sympathetic. She assured me her children did the exact same thing. So, apparently, this is a real childhood phenomenon? Is there an official diagnosis for pediatric foot-measuring-plate phobia?
The other circumstance that made the ordeal more painful was the fact that half of the shoes were out of stock in Monica's size so the saleswoman had to keep coming back to us with shoes only to listen to Monica's pitiful cries. Once I finally reached my decision on a pair of shoes, I made sure to apologize to the poor saleswoman. She was very gracious and assured me it was not the first time, nor would it be the last. I thanked her for her assurances and said that it was comforting to know your child isn't a freak. She replied, "Well, I didn't say that..." Then it was my turn to assure her that every parent, at some point (or many points, really) wonders if there child is a "freak," and it's always comforting to know you child is not the only one screaming at foot measuring plates.
That will be our first and last foot measuring/shoe store experience for a while. I was a little nervous that Monica would hate the shoes, but she really likes them. Sometimes she'll bring them to me so she can wear them around the house. Apparently, no permanent scars were made, and she has a cute, functional pair of shoes. Trauma survived.