“Mammy weah new shoes?” C asks as I pull on my new cowboy boots. I hesitate to answer. We are almost out the door on time and I know that the truth will slow us down. Honesty finally wins over timeliness. It’s just too easy to spin tales and it’s a habit I’m trying to break.
“Not new shoes, these are mommy’s new boots.” I lift the cuff of my jeans to show her.
“Oooooh!” she gasps, and promptly sits down to tear off the shoes we just put on her feet. “My wear booboots!”
I sigh and say “no sweety, you can barely walk in your new boots. We have to go play with Kathleen and Maria, you should really wear your shoes.”
Her face falls and her chin starts to wobble. “My weah booboots.” she murmurs before dissolving into a heaving pile of sobs. C rarely tantrums, this must really mean a lot to her.
I stiffle another sigh and say ok. At worst I can bring her shoes and when she gets tired of wearing her boots her daycare providers can do a quick switch. This battle isn’t worth fighting. I grab her boots and quickly push her feet into them. She jumps up quickly and grabs her baby doll.
“Es go mammy!” she chirps, all traces of sadness erased now that her boots are on her feet.
I grab my things and her sippy cup and we head out the door. She hops down the stair and starts to clomp across the deck. She takes a few steps and stops with a puzzled look on her face. She steps forward again and stops. She cups her hand to her ear and says
“My hear! My hear!”
I smile. She’s used to walking with rubber soles, she’s never heard shoes clomp across a wood floor before. “I know sweety, your boots make funny noises.”
She looks at me quizically and takes another two steps. She stands there, halfway across the deck, almost at the car, and says “booboots off!”
At this point we’re pretty close to being late. I stride back across the deck and pick her up. As she wails “booboots off!” over and over again I get her to the car, wrench open the car door and deposit her in her car seat. I pull off her boots, push her feet into her shoes and she instantly settles down.
I climb into the driver’s seat and check the time. 8:59. We’re miraculously on time. Once again we’ve somehow navigated the murky waters of the morning and survived more or less intact. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. I may have to rethink my position on harmless white lies. It may be worth corrupting my integrity to save my blood-pressure.