We went shoe-shopping today.  It was a girls’ morning out.

First of all, we had to take Pearl’s beloved boots back to the shop.  She’s been having trouble doing up the zip, and on inspection it became apparent that the plastic part of the zip has come away from the cloth part, so it’s disintegrating.  She’s only had them 8 weeks, and doesn’t even wear them every day.  I know some people who’ve had trouble returning items to this chain in the past, so I went in with fingers crossed, prepared to be charming but also prepared to put my foot down and invoke the Ministry of Consumer Affairs if necessary.  Happily, it was not necessary, and the manager was nothing but helpful and cheerful.  A replacement pair was not in stock, but will arrive within the week, so Pearl is excited that she will get new boots in time for school to start again.

Bolstered by that experience, I decided that I could get myself some new shoes too, although I had a different store in mind.  Pearl sat on one of the plush stools they have and read her library books while Babess and I browsed.  We were probably there for 30 – 45 minutes (I am fussy about shoes, and hard to fit), with Babess in the front pack the whole time.  I briefly toyed with the idea of putting her down, but visions of her zooming towards the open door and into the path of a speeding bus, or just pulling down every single shoe she could reach, danced through my head.  So she stayed in the front pack, and talked to the sales assistants and other customers and danced and played and generally made friends with everyone in the shop.

It’s tricky to try shoes on with a baby in a front pack (especially if the baby is dancing or holding conversations with strangers), but it was a good test, because a lot of the time I am trying to put my shoes on as I head out the door with Babess already strapped in.  I found a couple of pairs which I liked and which seem to fit, and I had one offer of regular babysitting and Babess was invited to spend the rest of the day in the shop helping out.  I did warn them that “shoe” was one of her first words and she loves to play with them…

One noticeable thing while we were there: a lot of the music was Motown, mainly Michael Jackson, and Babess loved it.  She was singing and dancing and giggling to the baby in the mirror.  When the music changed, she got cranky, and I put it down to no morning nap and us spending too long in one shop.  But then it went back to Michael Jackson, and she was sweetness and light again.  Baby loves Motown!

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