Who knew shoes would turn out to be so important around here?
Jett has always been a little quirky about his shoes… he didn’t like tie shoes because tying them is too hard. So we have been buying velcro shoes… and as he ages, they become harder to find in the “cool” styles. For the last few months he has been asking us to velcro his shoes for him. Which is odd, but in the interest of getting out of the house semi-on-time, we indulge. But, as it turns out, shoes are a Thing.
For those of you with kids on the spectrum, you know what I mean… one of those Things that sets your kid off.
School starts here next week, and school means shoes. Shoes that have closed-toes. Shoes that have to be fastened. And shoes that, since boys feet grow alarmingly fast, purchased before school starts.
So we headed to the mall.
It was tax-free weekend.
He wanted Sketchers.
We were in the oh-so-crowded mall, an hour before it closed on tax-free weekend (which, in keeping with our not-so-with-it-parenting we had NO IDEA it even was tax-free weekend). So we head to the Sketchers store, where they blast in the techno-pop music and have the video screens going. Add the people, the shoes that sparkle, light-up, and almost dance by themselves, and the FREE BUBBLEGUM MACHINE and you have a recipe for disaster.
I tried to get Jett’s attention to ask him about certain shoes. Even holding his face in my hand he couldn’t look me in the eye. The sales-girl at one point was waving shoes in his face, to no avail. It was the first time I have said to a stranger “he’s on the autism spectrum”. I must admit, those words were very painful to speak aloud. Jett is so mild that usually I don’t need to say much of anything. People just see him as a rowdy, quirky guy most of the time. Not this day.
We finally purchased the shoes, and got home. He wore them today for the first time.
He hates them.
They don’t feel good. They are too loose, don’t hug his feet as tight as he wants. He hates shoes, hates them, wishes he never had to wear shoes ever again. Oh, and he doesn’t want to start school either, ThankYouVeryMuch.
Whew. That’s a lot of pressure on some foot-garb.
We started a new chart tonight. The Jett Wears His Shoes 10 Times to Break Them In chart. We have one sticker on it so far. We have to get 9 more before he starts school.
I just hope it works.