wearing the wrong pair of shoes

Today's iDifficult blog entry: Mind Found Missing reminded me of a small boy in the kindergarten/first grade class I worked.

This little lad was lucky enough to not only to be living with his parents but his grandparents too. This made him very social and as likeable as they come, but also must have created great chaos getting dressed for school in the morning…

or so I assumed...

For every morning the little guy would stop for help removing his coat which was always buttoned willy nilly - sometimes even to his shirt instead of itself - and tying his shoes. It should also be noted that his hat was forever inside out, as was his shirt, and his pants were rarely snapped at the top - of course that probably had less to do with haste and more to do with the tummy that prevented him from reaching it.

One Monday morning he came in beaming brightly and talking in a non-stop stream because he’d gotten a new pair of shoes over the weekend to wear just for special occasions.

And Ms Petite… they are so shiny! And they aren’t like my other shoes they make noise when I walk, my other ones don’t, well, sometimes they squeak but only when I slide, but these make noise when I walk all the time, except on the carpet because the carpet is soft, but my mom says I can only wear them to special places because they‘ll get dirty and… Oh no oh no OH NO!!!!

I’ve been so busy trying to unbutton his coat from his shirt that it takes his sudden grief to make me look down at his feet. And when i do i notice there is a shiny black shoe on his right foot and an old sneaker on his left - and just for the record neither of them is tied.

He continues; oh no oh no oh no I can’t wear these shoes to school I just can’t… and his voice trails off into tears.

I console him by telling him not to worry, and, without having to lie, I admit that I’d done the same thing myself just the week before. We get a tissue and he blows his nose as I explain that i will call his grandmother and have her bring his sneaker. He gives me an odd look that I don’t quite understand, drops the spent tissue into my hand and heads off to join the other children.

I call and explain the situation to Grandmom who shows up a half hour later.

When the lad and i greet her, she holds out a shoebox with two shoes inside - one black shiny shoe and one old sneaker, and she says; This was the only other pair of shoes I could find so I‘ll wait for him to change. I want to bring the other pair home with me because I don't want him to lose both pair.

I tell her we only need the sneaker but she protests;

Now wait just a minute, if you only take one shoe the boy will be without the other one all day long. He needs two shoes and this is the only pair I could find so I‘d say he‘ll be needing both of them wouldn‘t you?”

I think she is kidding but fast realize she isn’t. And, since I’m not sure what to say we wait in silence while the lad removes both shoes.

And trades both shoes, one at a time, with grandmom.

He then puts a shiny black shoe on his left foot and an old sneaker on his right and waits for grandmom to tie them both.

And before he heads off, Grandmom kisses his head and tells him she loves him.

And then she says; Tomorrow will be better because i will make sure he has the right pair of shoes on before he leaves for school.


  1. And that lad grew up to be evil genius iDifficult! What a strange tale...

  2. and there is more to come on this little fella. ;)

  3. That's one crazy household! Fuzzy logic is the best, you know it can't, but somehow it makes sense :)

  4. That is really quite disturbing. Even for me. Did the whole family work with computers?

  5. actually i am certain they didn't. hope that helps. ;)

  6. I don't know what to say - extraordinary! Looking forward to reading more about this little person...

  7. And this is why teaching is the best job ever... always something interesting to keep you on your toes. Can't wait to hear more about this little guy and his strange family.

  8. Maybe a little strange but you can tell they love each other and seem to be happy.

  9. You have an award, darling! It's from me to you. Come check out the CAPTAIN'S BLOG SUPPLEMENTAL in my latest blog entry. And thank you.