Over the past few short weeks Seth has turned 2 or 3 steps whilst falling into 4 or 5 steps while just a bit wobbly and now can confidently accomplish 6 or 7 steps independently, followed by falling. Because of this wondrous milestone his dad and I took it upon ourselves to go and buy his first pair of real shoes. Of course he hasn’t had little naked baby feet up until this point, but this would be his absolutely first real pair of shoes. Being such a momentous occasion for us all, I foolishly harboured a very whimsical and romantic idea about how the whole thing would play out. I guess because the moment was so special to us, I thought it would be a real perfect, family moment!

It was not.

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Naturally, wanting to keep up with the Jones’s and impress my mother, I headed to Clarks where I perused the well-lit shelves of dinky leather baby shoes with enthusiasm. The shop was busy and bustling, then someone called out “number 86?” Then someone else “number 87?” Now I quickly cottoned on that this was not some sort of footwear bingo and spotted the Asda style delicatessen number machine on the opposite wall (not what I had imagined at all) Taking a number, 91 by that point, I proceeded to wait and wait and wait while the baby got more and more agitated! Once we were finally served (by a very nice young lady I must add) we were told Seth’s feet were a 4H. Now, an H being a very unusual width fitting which basically means he has fat feet, bless him, and Clarks only carry that size in 1 shoe which wasn’t even in stock! Disappointing, but she does have 2 shoes in a 4G which should fit (remember the baby is getting more and more stressed as time goes on!) She tries for what feels like forever to get his feet in these shoes, he’s fighting her all the way, screaming and wriggling to get out of our arms. At this point I have to take over and manage to get his little puffy feet into the shoes and stand him on the floor for a little walk about.

So the shoes are fine, they’re the only ones which fit and are in stock so we don’t have a lot of choice anyway. Clarks take a picture of you with your little cherub in their new shoes which gets emailed and posted to you. So we pose in the shop for a photo. Seth is screaming, does not want to be held, his face is red, his nose is running, he refuses to look at the camera, everyone in the shop is looking at him and at us desperately trying to grin with pride for this photo while our baby wrestles himself to the ground to get away from us. Disaster!

Bless the sales assistant she must have retaken that photo 15 times, each one worse than the other. We went with the last photo out of sheer embarrassment even though it looks like a snap shot of two deranged people trying to kidnap a small possessed child.

Anyway, my disastrous shoe shopping aside, the fact that I am about to have a baby who can confidently walk is baffling to me. It seems days ago we came home from hospital, worked out how to get him to sleep, got nappy changes down to a 1 minute job and just started feeling comfortable with family life, working out a new normal for us all. It scares me how quickly he’s changing and now he’s on the cusp of walking it’s like he’s learning to not need me, to be independent from me and I’m not ready for that. I’ll be back to work next week, he’ll be in nursery, socialising and coming on leaps and bounds and I’m not ready to come home from work one day and see a toddler waiting for me. But I know that these first precious steps are just the start of my son’s amazing journey. For me the joy and adventure is watching him take his own path. After all, who knows where his little fat feet will take him.

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