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Having Fun Together

How to Put on Your Kid's Shoes in 30 Simple Steps

Time to head out the door? These easy instructions can help

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1. Give a five-minute warning: We are leaving in five minutes, so let's start thinking about: putting on our shoes!

2. Congratulate self for remembering to allow child proper transitional time. Go Parent.

3. Visually locate shoes: one in the front hall, one in the back hall. The lace-tie ones because, what the heck, we have a whole five minutes!

4. Tell child where shoes are.

5. Remember that children don't read between the lines so rephrase: Your shoes are located in these two spots. Please go and collect them and meet me in the front hall.

6. Sure, kiddo, you can go pee first. Great idea! Good thinking!

7. Poo, too? Yes, yes, definitely do that here before we get into the car.

8. Read a book on the potty because that's what it takes these days.

9. Discover the life-changing magic of reading only the first line in each paragraph of a book. It works. (Why did nobody mention this sooner?)

10. Wipe.

11. Fine. Have some fun with flushing.

12. Wash hands, adjusting water temperature and pressure as dictated.

13. Towel down entire soaked bathroom.

14. Back to the shoes! Grab them for the child and place in front of feet with the correct shoe on each side.

15. Say, "remember the bunny ears!" as child makes valiant attempt to do the tying.

16. Be patient. Have so much patience overwhelming bodily system that patience is actually ejected from ears as steam.

17. Smile and say, "it's okay!" as child kicks foot in frustration, pummeling shoe across the floor so hard that it bounces up, leaving a scuff on the wall.

18. Thank whatever deity you do or don't believe in for the invention of the Magic Eraser. 

19. Worry that you aren't giving your child a religious or moral enough upbringing.

20. Settle on timeliness. That's a virtue, right? Let's hurry this process up.

21. No time for discipline over kicked shoe...only….

22. Yep, the other shoe was just kicked as well. Ugh, must discipline.

23. Remember that childhood is precious and that one day you will miss these moments. These moments are fleeting.

24. Will them to fleet. (Or is it flee?)

25. Worry about your recent vocabulary loss.

26. Google "early onset dementia."

27. Defend yourself to child for being on your phone for the millionth time today.

28. Grab no-tie shoes instead, the ones with the light-up bottoms that you used to judge other parents for. Shove them onto feet with the kindness and compassion of a parent who is on step 28 of putting her child's shoes on.

29. Judge yourself a bit, too. Forgive self. Forgive child for being a child. Love self, love child. Feel so much love, actually, that love starts to eject itself out of eyes in the form of tears. Shake head, look down.

30. Realize: You are barefoot.

Lauren Smith Brody is a writer, editor, consultant, and the author of the upcoming book The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success after Baby. (Doubleday, April 2017). She lives in New York City with her two little boys-and don't even get her started on putting on their snow boots.