Will and I had a nice date on Tuesday. We were both off of work, Stella’s school was in session, and Oui Oui offered to watch Felix for us. It was great. We hadn’t had a big block of time to just ourselves in a while. Being practical, however, we did have a couple of errands to run – errands that are a ginormous pain in the ass if you’re toting a kid or two around. One of these errands was buying Will a new pair of shoes. He’s almost as petulant while shoe shopping as Felix is with one of his 900 ear infections. Almost.
Anyway, I don’t get to go out shopping much at all. Even if I do have some money to spare, A) getting out without the aforementioned wiggly ballast in tow, and B) while avoiding most people because I dislike most people, is difficult. Ergo, I typically use the magic of internet shopping. But some things – such as my husband’s shoes – simply must be done the old-fashioned way.
The plan was that Will was supposed to start looking at shoes, pulling some to try on. I wanted to look at kids’ shoes. Why? Because Stella is about to start taking dance lessons, and I’ve already learned that little ballet slippers and tap shoes aren’t cheap. Aren’t cheap at all. Oops. And I meant “dahnce” lessons. For whatever reason, Stella channels her inner British princess when she discusses dahnce. Well, Will can’t be trusted in a shoe store, and he ended up just following me around to scout potential dahnce shoes instead of finding boring men’s shoes. Not that I can blame him there.
As I scanned the wall of cute little pink sparkly tennis shoes and Mary Janes, my blood started to boil. In one section alone, there were no fewer than 6 different pairs of HEELS. HEELS FOR TODDLERS. To clarify: these were toddler sizes – not girls’. Not that that’s much better. I started to rant. Will started to look bored at first, in that “sure honey whatever you say” kind of way, until he picked one up and asked how old of a girl would fit the sparkly silver pump in his hand. He got it, when I flipped it over and showed him it was Stella’s current size. Why in the world are they selling heels for 4 year olds?!
I’m cool with dress up. Stella flounces around the house in wings, tutus, dahnce slippers, tiaras, cowboy boots, mustaches, and kitty masks on a daily basis. I’m even tolerant and slightly amused when she drags my shoes out and clomps around the house – even my heels. Because they’re mine and they’re ridiculously big on her little foot. She could never ever in a million years wear mine out of the house because it simply wouldn’t function. She couldn’t walk, run, skip, or dahnce. It’s just fun for her to clomp around in mommy’s shoes. But heels designed for little feet is just a sick abomination to me.
Little girls are supposed to be cute, sweet, wild, free, curious, precocious, sparkly, magical, and innocent. They are not supposed to look like, dress like, act like grown ass women. Toddlers should not be wearing heels and mascara. They should not be wearing shorts or pants with shit like “Diva” or “Cutie” stamped across their innocent little butts. No one ought to be reading anything on their innocent little butts. No one ought to even be looking that hard.
Maybe I’m just over the bend – old fart, square, has-been – whatever. I sound like one of those old people: “Back in my day, we didn’t have high heels when we were in preschool.” You’re damn right, we didn’t. I can remember chafing against my own mother when she said 12 is too young for eye-liner, that skirt is too short, that bathing suit is cut too high. But SHE WAS RIGHT. She was trying to help me be what I was: a girl.
I don’t know what the answer is. If I were wealthy and crazier, I’d buy every pair of these things and burn them in a heap in front of the stores that sell them. I could write the manufacturers that make them, chastising them for over-sexualizing girls. But the sad truth is, there’s a market for this abominable shit. Some parents – I guess – must think it’s ok to dress their little girls up like teenagers. But I don’t think it’s ok. And my kid isn’t wearing this trampy mess.