The first half of the day was almost an unmitigated disaster. The Mister had to leave on an overnight trip early in the morning. Hawkeye was being stubborn. It was taking me forever to get everything together to leave the house in between getting myself assembled and navigating his moods. I changed my plans about ten times. And then after visiting with a friend I left my phone behind on her couch. If you know me, you know this is pretty much like me forgetting my right hand. Or my brain. My phone keeps me organised. It keeps me connected. It keeps me sane.
And the worst part is that I was only about 98% sure it was in my friend’s house. And those 2% are all it takes for obsessive compulsive thoughts to take over and dominate your brain with images of your phone falling out of your pocket or being left behind on a counter in the shop where you got coffee (even though you were still in the shop when you discovered it was missing) etc, etc. And my friend and her husband had both gone out and I had no way to communicate with them.
The funny thing is that it turned out the solution to my problem was in my own hands. I had spare keys back at home. But in my state of panic I forgot this and did the first thing I could think of, which was dash over to another friend’s house nearby as she would be able to contact one of the occupants of the house about arranging a meet up. This turned out to be unnecessary because, as she reminded me, I had keys, but it also turned out to be the move that made this morning an almost unmitigated disaster rather than just an unmitigated disaster. I went from getting to spend time with one friend to spending time with two.
By the time I reclaimed my missing technological limb it was past 2pm but I was determined to try and salvage the day somehow and Hawkeye and I managed to make it into the city centre for some errands. This may have not been my brightest idea, given how mad busy the city centre was this close to Christmas. By way of example, Marks & Spencer already have their spring sleepwear out on the shelves even though it’s not yet January. Why? Because the winter stuff has been flying off the shelves that fast and it’s better than just having empty space on the shop floor.
Nevertheless, despite the huge crowds we were able to accomplish a few things and enjoy the festive atmosphere. I indulged in a little retail therapy, and most importantly we got Hawkeye new shoes. The kid grows so fast it’s hard to keep up. When we weren’t looking overnight his feet grew so fast that we’ve jumped two sizes. But again, the mad shopping season was felt even in the children’s shoe store. After measuring his feet the sales assistant discovered she had nothing in his size in the boots or heavier winter shoe range. In the end, all that was available were the sportier sneaker type shoes but on the plus side, they had lights!
This is the first stress-free shoe shopping experience I’ve had with Hawkeye in over a year. Previously he wouldn’t let me take off his shoes, or try on new shoes, or ever want to put new shoes on at home, and the whole process was exhausting. However, the benefit of a specialised children’s shoe shop is that all the staff have a lot of experience dealing with smaller customers. So the lady waiting on us listened to what I was looking for, then turned away from me, got Hawkeye to sit up on a stool, and engaged with him 100% without paying any attention to me. He loved it. She talked him out of his old shoes and talked him into putting his feet into the measuring device. Then she talked him into several new pairs of shoes and got him running around. Eventually he was even able to express a preference. The fit on all three was relatively similar, but there were three different shades of blue so we had to obviously take Hawkeye’s choice into account!
The unexpected-but-completely-unsurprising consequence of getting shoes with lights in the soles was of course that Hawkeye has now developed an intense fascination with observing his own feet when walking. This was very funny in the shop, but much less funny when you’re trying to pull a toddler through packed throngs of people and across streets jammed with cars while he’s almost bent over in half and in a crouch, pulling you down with him as he stomps heavily and observes the running blue lights.
So this is exactly what he looked like on our way home until I gave up (both due to the difficulty of keeping him upright and because of the time) and pulled us both into a taxi.
Well, almost exactly. Those shoes were the wrong shade of blue.