I took my 4yo shoe shopping today. In the Trafford Centre during the school holidays. *That* was a stupid idea. But, given we need a school uniform (that’s a whole different post), and given she seems to be in the middle of a growth spurt, it was necessary.
We started off by having her feet measured. Clarks have this odd i-pad type device that slots into the measuring machine to do the measuring. She could put her gender and her age into the machine too (I’m not quite sure why). On the screen was a boy (Jack) in blue, and a girl (Daisy) in pink. My 4yo asked why there were two people on it. Our sales assistant instantly said ‘so you can put in you’re a girl. You wouldn’t want to be a boy would you?’ with negative emphasis placed on ‘boy’.
She chose the blue; ‘because I like blue’.
This pleased me so much. Not because I don’t want her to like pink. She can have all the pink she likes. And last week she couldn’t get enough of pink and purple. This week she loves blue (but only light blue), yellow and green. I just love the fact that she didn’t get squashed into choosing what she thought she should, based on the adult’s influence.
It continued. She tried on a pair of shoes, and immediately said they were too tight. Sales assistant said ‘but they look so pretty’. Later we had ‘but they have a loveheart on the front’. She’s 4 for heaven’s sake, what’s a loveheart got to do with anything?
She stuck to her guns, and we got a pair of shoes that fit her and are comfortable.
I hope that I can continue to foster that independence as she grows up, even when she has grown ups and peers around her who try to narrow her options.