Babies Need Lots Of Things, But Shoes Aren’t One Of Them
If you’ve got a baby, I’ve got the name of a store where you can go buy a bunch of useless garbage to decorate it. Babies are big money makers and dressing your infant blob up in teeny, tiny shoes is considered adorable by many. I can’t say I’m immune to the charm, as I love a baby in Chucks as much as the next human with eyes, but I don’t generally outfit my babies with shoes until they can walk.
Baby shoes aren’t really a thing parents get grief about. You can take your baby outside the house without shoes on and not need to worry about judgment from strangers the way you might with socks or a hat. No kindly old woman is going to run up and invade your infant’s personal space and ask where his loafers are. At least, that’s what I believed until this weekend.
This past Saturday my husband and I decided to take the kids to the park. We lathered them in sunscreen and packed a bunch of snacks and toys. My toddler wore her tennis shoes, but my son is only nine months old and it was warm, so we let him hang out in the stroller with bare feet. The park was busy, and my daughter wanted to play in the sand, so we took the kids and found a spot to sit. Another mom was near us with her son, so the kids played together and we made polite small talk. Everything was going fine until the woman looked at my son and did The Thing.
You know The Thing. You hate The Thing. The Thing is where someone acts like they’re talking to a baby, but they are really just passive-aggressively pointing out a perceived failing on your part. Someone might come up on a cold winter day right after your kid has ripped their hat off for the 300th time and sweetly coo, “Did Mommy forget your hat, Little One?” as a way of asking you where the hell their hat is. And then you have to backhand them for doing The Thing. You can’t help it. It’s science.
So, this lady looks at my son and says, “Oh, did Mommy forget your shoes?” I laugh because ha, ha, babies don’t need to have shoes on and then I say something like, “Nope. We just decided we didn’t need them today,” and playfully tickle my son’s foot. He cracks up and I shift my focus and realize this woman is looking at me like I just sprouted a third boob out of my forehead. She didn’t really say anything else to us after that, but the whole barefoot infant incident clearly had her perturbed.
I don’t think I missed any recent legislation rendering barefoot babies illegal, but just in case, I’d like to reaffirm my stance that infant shoes are pointless. They’re a waste of money that could be better spent on wine or hobbies that don’t include assessing infant footwear at the park. They’re things you get at baby showers that you take one picture of and then toss in a keepsake box in the closet. They’re impossible to shop for, difficult to put on, and honestly, I’d just rather not deal with it. There are a lot of pointless things made for babies and shoes are pretty high up on the list. I will ‘Like’ the hell out of some babies wearing shoes on Instagram, but when it comes to my own infants? #FreeTheToes.
(Photo: Olha Ukhal / Shutterstock)