Let me start off by saying that no one has thrown up since last Friday!! Hallelujah! My fingers are crossed that we've seen the last of whatever nasty bug it was that invaded our home for the last several weeks.
Now, back to "regaler" shoes. This story actually happened several months ago, but I wanted to document it here anyway. It's one of those stories that I hold dear and that I never want to forget.
Now if you know Owen, you'll know that he is creature of habit. Much like his mother, he doesn't like or appreciate unnecessary change. When he was about 15-16 months old we were getting ready to enter his first "walking winter". We needed to buy him his first pair of *real* shoes. I tried getting him several different pairs of shoes, but his Fred Flintstone feet are so darn wide, that none of the shoes available for purchase in normal department stores would fit him. We ended up taking him to Stride Rite to get properly fitted. They sized him as a 5 1/2 XXW! We tried on several pairs of shoes before we found the brown and orange "Prodigy". It was clear that they were *his* shoes! He wore those shoes out of the store, proud as can be- and he continued to wear that pair of shoes for an entire year!
When those shoes began to get a little tight, we returned to Stride Rite. He was again fitted, and placed in 6 1/2 XW, brown and orange Prodigy. We left the store and Owen was happy. That boy WORE those shoes. Both pairs saw a great deal of wear and tear, including one of the shoes being left in the CVS parking lot, and then being ran over by a car! We got home that evening, realized the shoe was missing, retraced our steps and eventually found the flattened shoe. We brought it home, cleaned it up, and he continued to wear it for another 6+ months.
Those shoes were good to my little boy and he loved them. He wouldn't wear any other shoes for any reason. Those were his shoes. I didn't realize how strong the attachment really was until the day that the 6 1/2 XW Prodigy began to feel a little snug. I asked Owen if his shoes were hurting him, and he told me "No". for quite a few weeks. Finally, he started admitting that his shoes were pinching his feet. I took him back to Stride Rite to be fitted again, and sure enough, he was now a size 7 1/2 W. The sales lady asked him which shoes he'd like to try on, and he confidently replied, "I'd just like my 'regaler' shoes please". She explained that Prodigy only went up to size 7, so he'd have to pick another style.
Ooooooh Boy. Owen went into total meltdown mode as we brought other styles over for him to try on. He laid on the floor of the store and cried big crocodile tears. "I just want my regaler shoes!" He sobbed. We ended up leaving the store that day, with too-tight "regaler" shoes upon his feet. I tried again a few days later with similar results.
Finally, I decided to call in reinforcements. Sara and I boldly headed off to the shoe store with Owen in tow. On the drive there, we tried to get him excited about the prospect of fun new shoes. He was not so easily swayed from wanting his "regalers" though.
When we arrived, we were fortunately greeted by an enthusiastic sales associate. She had a touch for dealing with kiddos attached to their "regaler" shoes. She convinced him to try on a pair of shoes named, "Bear Cub". She told him how fast he'd be able to run in Bear Cub shoes, and encouraged him to try them out in the store. He eventually decided that he could get on board with the Bear Cub shoes.
Now, the Bear Cubs have been a member of our family for several months. They eventually gained a place in Owen's heart as the NEW "regalers". I am dreading the day that he outgrows the Bear Cubs and we have to go on the search again, but for now, we're happy to call them Owen's "regaler" shoes!
I recall this story with fond memories because it is so indicative of Owen's personality. From an outsider's perspective, I'm sure that it appeared that he was just being a brat. But being his mother, I know when my kid is being a brat; this wasn't one of those times. Those shoes really meant something to him. They were like the best friend that I was asking him to leave behind. My little boy was far too loyal for that. I don't know if he'll ever feel that way about another pair of shoes, (part of me hopes that he doesn't!), but I still smile when I think about Owen's first "regaler" shoes.