Let me just preface this by saying that we don’t spend a lot of money on clothes at our house. Most of our wardrobe is from Target, and if I bought a shirt or pants at a children’s store, you can bet it was on sale. I feel like spending anything over $20 on little kids’ clothes is like putting a $20 bill in your pocket and then throwing it away 2 weeks later when your kids have grown a shoe or pant size.
So how did I end up buying 3-yr-old K a pair of Spider Man shoes that cost $34 yesterday? And not even a fancy pair. Just your everyday slip-on shoes with some webbed Spidey eyes. Why did I even entertain trying on non-Target shoes in the first place? The answer is simple: I can’t say “no” to K’s sweet little face when it’s coupled with his even sweeter, littler, high-pitched voice.
K had begged to go to the shoe store with me because he’d never been to one before. And he’s three, so he likes to discover new things, even if they’re as mundane as a Famous Footwear outlet. I was trying on shoes, and suddenly his little socked feet were nudged up next to my legs.
“I can try on some big kid shoes now? Just like you? It’s my turn?”
For those of you who haven’t met Little K, he’s got big, bluer-than-blue eyes, a tiny round nose, and such a quiet, fragile way about him. When he looks at me with those eyes, and his little squeaky voice sounds so hopeful, I’m wrapped around his finger. So we headed over to the kids’ shoes, and I steered him toward the clearance rack.
I leaned over to sort through the cheapest shoes and look for his size, and when I turned around he wasn’t there. He was at the end of the aisle, holding a Spiderman box with an ecstatic glow on his face. He walked toward me, those hopefully eyes wide open and hesitant smile on his face.
“Mama! Look! I wuv these Spiderman shoes so much! Please do they fit me?”
That pair didn’t, but another did, and it’s so rare for Little K to express any kind of extreme want, let alone an extravagant one. Once those shoes were on his feet, he proudly stomped around the shoe store, whispering, “I look just like Spiderman! These shoes are super special!”
I looked at the price tag on the box. Gulped. Put back one of the two pairs of shoes I was holding for myself, and headed for the register. With all his struggles to express himself, express big positive emotions and confidence, $34 is really pretty worth it if he can slip those babies on and feel special. We definitely won’t be stepping foot in another shoe store any time soon, but for today I’ll get over my sticker shock and look at the far bigger gift we walked out the door with.