Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Almost a First

"Come on then, darling" boomed the woman with the unreasonably loud voice. "Are you going to give us a walk?"

She ran her hands over John's shiny new shoes and smiled a smile that somehow managed to seem loud.

"Come on!" she yelled, clapping her hands clamorously in his face, "Come here to me! Come on!"

John stood with his feet stuffed into strange, stiff shoes and his little face crumbled.

He clung helplessly to the seat as his feet refused to move, and then sunk miserably onto the floor as he realised the impossibility of his task.

He tried to crawl away to safety but his feet were trapped in strange, solid shoes and all he could do was drag his legs limply behind him as his pitiful cries turned into panic.

The ludicrously loud lady spent a good ten minutes trying to get him to walk. She jingled keys in his face, played him noisy cartoons on her mobile, and shouted then shouted some more.

But it was all to no avail, because even when John's cries did falter and stop he was utterly incapable of walking. He simply stood, gripping my knee tightly, and staring about him in confusion and fear, like a wild thing caged. 

We didn't buy John his first pair of shoes that day. Instead, we pulled them from his feet and set him down in his socks. We saw relief flood his face as his toes curled against the carpet and then we watched as he toddled out of that shoe shop at what almost seemed like a run.


  1. Good for you John - you've a life-time of clumpy shoes, mate!
    Just be glad you're not a woman and have to squeeze those little pinkies into all manner of high heeled terrors just because they look nice - lol!!

  2. Aw, poor John. The lady in the shop sounds like just the type that I seem to meet everytime I want to buy some shoes. it makes me want to run a mile in my socks too! x

  3. Fear is paralyzing, isn't it?

  4. It must feel so disconcerting to have shoes on for the first time (what are they going to make me wear next !)
    Maybe he will wear some slippers at home to get himself acclimatized.
    Love the sweater by the way - I ordered the pattern today. Much easier to get over their head but still a sweater rather than a cardi.