...or at least you would have THOUGHT that was the experience my daughter was experiencing today. Nope, just first time in flip flops...Let me back up and explain.
Our story starts a couple of weeks ago when the warm weather started and Elena watched her beloved Gwammy dust off her flip flops, paint her nails and flip flop off down the daffodilled sidewalk. She immediately wanted flip flops. We weren't sure that they would work on a not-quite-yet-four-year-old, but when I found some cute flippies for under $9 at the Gap today, I decided to let her try them.
I brought them home. She tried them on and insisted they were comfortable and that they worked fine. Well, worked would be a bit of a stretch. Worked if you are Lurch from The Munsters. Worked if you don't need to walk anywhere with any speed whatsoever. Worked if you never needed to go up or down stairs. I kept trying to give her flip flop lessons. It was sort of pathetic.
At 4 PM, we had to get out of the 80-degree heat (yes, I know it's April in the Northeast...there might be something to this global warming thing, eh?). Anyhoo, I took the kids to the mall to try and find myself a simple black cardigan. Black cardigans don't exist this year, apparently. So, we had to check about a dozen stores. Can I just tell you how fun it was to hunt for an elusive item with a twenty-five pound boy on my back and limping, simping, wimping three-year-old at my side? Crying, sobbing child, nosy passer-bys, shoppers asking if we were alright, to which I had to sheepishly reply, "Oh yes, first time in flip flops." I tried to sound cheerful, but it was about as much fun as a dental appointment.
But, the odd thing about three-year-olds is that they are weird, unpredictable (in some ways) and volatile. Elena was running the gamut of these characteristics, er running would be the wrong word, how about displaying? She was a scaredy-cat, for lack of a better way of describing it. She was pointing at the railings (we were on the upper floor) and sobbing uncontrollably. She was freaked about the prospect of the escaltor or elevator, not even pushing the buttons on the elevator held any allure. It was sad and pathetic. I was starting to get that freaked out feeling a mom gets when she is worried her kid is coming down with some dread virus.
Apparently the flip flops had stolen her sure-footedness and with it her mojo. With her balance lacking she was simply rendered agoraphobic...petrified of everything in the mall. Once I realized what the problem was, I managed to get her to inch halfway down the regular stairs, I finally picked her up and carried to the terminus of those stairs, a Payless Shoe Store. Done. Elena is now the proud owner of some hideous Dora Croc-knock-offs that I never would have bought were we not under such duress. Oh well.
She was quite pleased with them and reassured me many, many times that she was no longer scared and that her new shoes made her "speedy." She was now thrilled to go up and down every escaltor we came near. See, aren't almost-four-year-olds weird?