Mr Mess, Stress & Fancy Dress has enormous feet. Proper size 13 clown offerings. You know what they say about men with big feet, *wry smile, smug face* ……..they have shoes so big a toddler can hide a remote control and 2 Barbies in them? Well, yes, but anyway, it’s been passed down to the kids and we spend far more time in shoe shops than is good for anyone’s sanity. The Diva’s flippers are currently the same size as her 7 year old cousin’s (she’s not quite 4) and we know the Clarks staff by name.
Despite this, we still fail to have anything approaching an acceptable shoe shop process. The most recent trip with just one child – I’d rather eat my own head than take them together – went something like this………
Arrive at Clarks (other child torture establishments are available, but they don’t do pre-book able appointments so I’m never going to frequent them) The nearly 2 year old Hulk is in the pushchair, safe and restrained. I do not get him out until it’s our turn. He screams in protest until this point. Strangers tut. The assistant says she will be with me in 2 seconds and asks me to get him out the pushchair. Despite my better judgement I do so. He runs riot, pulling large black school shoes off the shelves and face planting into the wellie display. I run round after him vainly trying to return shoes to their former positions on shelves, but sadly my small human wrecking ball wrecks faster than I can tidy and the whole experience is sadly reminiscent of a Benny Hill sketch. The assistant comes over and makes a thinly veiled joke about the mess and then asks me to put him on the end of my knee so she can measure his feet. Once he is positioned on my knee she gets the measuring thingy and attempts to capture his foot. He kicks her hard in the face. I apologise profusely, she smiles angrily and I give the hulk a gingerbread man to placate him. She manages to measure his foot while he smugly eats his snack. She gets shoes, he wrecks the shop again in her absence, I’ve given up trying to put the shoes back on the display and the hulk creates an artistic pile that wouldn’t look out of place at the Tate Modern. She returns. I give him raisins to placate him. She fits the shoes, we make polite conversation about the height of his instep but we both know she hates us. As she bends her head to do the buckle, he throws the raisins in her hair. She doesn’t notice, I don’t tell her, the Hulk smiles smugly and we buy the shoes as quickly as possible and leave.
Same time in 6 weeks? Next time I’ll send the husband, it’s all his bloody fault anyway.
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