While on vacation this past week, my mother-in-law reminded me of this repressed memory.
One of the kids outgrew his shoes and needed a new pair. Grandma was out for a visit so we loaded up the kids in our 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon for a trip to the mall. (The Vanagon alone is sufficient material for a future post. Stay tuned.)
I wheeled the baby and the two year-old in the double stroller and the other three kids, seven and under, held on the to sides of the stroller as we made our conspicuous way up the mall. The nice lady at the shoe store fit my six-year-old with a gleaming new pair of tennis shoes.
This intolerable turn of events was unacceptable to his four-year-old brother. He took one look at his brother’s fantastic new sneakers and let out a howl that stopped the mall traffic in their tracks. He proceeded to throw a screaming tantrum of epic proportions.
“ME get new shoes. Me no WANT him’s old shoes ME WANT NEW SHOES!!!!”
With the exit door in my sights, I continued my slow and steady procession towards the Vanagon. I could see the glares, the shaking heads, the tsk-tsking in my peripheral vision. I pressed on. Finally, we made it to the parking lot. As I strapped and buckled the kids into their assorted seats, I noticed the perp wearing one shoe.
“Where is your other shoe?” I asked
“Me thwew it away” he said with pride
I refused to be defeated by this brilliant yet diabolical move. I squealed the Vanagon around and sat rattling at the curb while Grandma entered the mall on a search and recovery mission. She successfully secured the sneaker from the third canister.
This child is now 6’6″ and a college track athlete. He receives an endless supply of new athletic shoes which he frequently gives to his older brother, further proving that God has a sense of humor.