The Shoe Basket

You can find his shoes on top of the couch.  You can find his shoes at the bottom of the couch.  Sometimes you can even find his shoes in the actual couch cushions.  How they end up there is freaking beyond me but I swear, I have found my son's shoes stuffed between the cushions of the couch.

Sometimes I can find them in the toy box which makes sense as they are shoes and are magical things that magically transport themselves to odd places.  They have transported themselves to the back of the van, inside the stroller, stuffed under the baby bag.  No one is sure how they got there.  They have transported themselves to my wife's closet, stuffed inside his memory box--where we keep some of his school work to embarrass him at his prom.  Look prom date, look how my son meant to write "pens" and instead wrote "penis"!  Isn't that great.  I only show you this because he made me look for his shoes so much when he was 6.

The one place though you will never find them though is in the actual shoe basket.  No, that is like the evil vortex for my children.  They don't even know it, but when they walk in from school and take the long way around the house to the living room because going the short way would require them to actually walk right by the shoe basket.  It's a subconscious thing.  I think they secretly believe if they actually put their shoes in the shoe basket then Santa would be found stuck in the chimney the next year and their toys would be ruined.  They don't care so much about Santa but they love their toys.  I'm a great parent.

So it's no surprise that this morning, with minutes left before the bus arrives, that we can't find my son's shoes.  They are not in the shoe basket, only the lost souls of the shoeless are in there (pun!).  I worked all night on that one.

No, his shoes are not in the shoe basket.  Well, one of them isn't at least.  I have the other one and I gave it to him.  Then I asked him to find the other one so he can go to school, graduate college, get his PHD in shoe basket technology and then invent a shoe basket that my family would actually put shoes in.

I ask him the question, where did you last have your shoe and why is only one shoe in the basket?  Watching his little mind turn is a delight though.  I'm not sure what he is going to say is what actually happened or some elaborate make believe story that will one day be a trilogy.  He's not lying, not intentionally at least, but he is just relating what pops in his head.  Sometimes that means that I get a true accounting for what I asked and sometimes that means I get a epic saga about how his shoe was abducted by aliens and sent to planet forgetful.

He tells me that he left his shoe in the baby's room the night before.  I don't ask him how or why, it would be pointless.  It's not hard to imagine my boy walking around for a good hour with only 1 shoe on and not realizing it or not caring.  He would look down at his one shoe and think to himself, Hmmm, how about that.  I only have one shoe on.  Let's go play.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that I'm not imagining this at all.  I would bet everything that I own that this is exactly what happened.

I tell him to go upstairs to get his shoe and put it on.  Then I turned around to stop the baby from eating dog food.  Seriously, why dog food?  Every god damn day.

My son returns and proudly points to his foot and the shoe that is on it.  See you old bastard, my shoe is on the foot.  I tell him two things.  First, I tell him that his shoe is on the wrong foot.  Second, I ask him where the other shoe is, the one I just had, and why it is not on his foot.  Then he starts thinking and then I know that I am in trouble.

He doesn't know why, he doesn't know where his other shoe is, the other one that we just had.  The bus should be here in seconds, not minutes.  I start my search.  I begin checking all the places that I always check.  I check the places that someone without kids would never check because they would never think of it.  Experience would not have taught them to look in the dog food container because who would put a shoe in there?  My kids would, that's who.

The shoe is not in the dog food container.  But I did find my daughters glove, our spare set of car keys and a spoon.  Again, I don't question why I just acknowledge that they are there.  I check under the table, a sucking blackhole that brings everything within 15 feet into its center.  No shoe but a bottle and one sock. I ask my son if he has both his socks on.  Nope, he has one sock on.  I throw him the other one.

I check behind the curtains.  I find a spider.  I step on it while knowing that I'm just working out my own frustrations.  Sorry little guy.  I check the basement stairs because for some reason my 1 year old son likes throwing crap down the cat door that leads to the basement.  I find several pacifiers, a diaper (unused thank god), a sky lander (TreeRex rules) and a lot of dog hair.  If currency was dog hair, I would be freaking loaded.

I check toy boxes, I check backpacks, I check my daughters own feet to makes sure she hasn't put it on.  The bus is coming, I know that it's probably already on my street.  We have never missed the bus, not in three years.  It's one of my main accomplishments as a stay at home dad.  I know, sad, but everyone has to have something.  I check everywhere, no freaking shoe.

Then an idea forms in my head.  I saw my son head upstairs, then I turned around.  When I saw him come downstairs, he had one shoe on.  He didn't have both shoes on, just the one.  I know what has happened, I can see it in my mind's eye.

I told my son to head upstairs and get his other shoe from the baby's room.  I told him to put it on.  What I did not say was head upstairs, find your other shoe, put them both on.  I told him to only put one shoe on.

I know where the other shoe is.

I head up to the baby's room.  I look under the crib because why would a shoe be under there?  Always look first where you shouldn't look first, that is the best parenting advice I could ever give.

Under the crib, there it is, the other shoe.  My son went upstairs with the shoe that I have him.  He went to the baby's room.  He put that shoe on.  Then he came back downstairs.  I could explain the logic of his thought process but that would take another 40 pages and some bright shiny lights.  But I do know my son and for that, I am proud.

I run downstairs and send my daughter out to the driveway to stall the bus driver should we actually come.  I throw my son on the couch and put his other sock on (he was still just twirling it) and put his shoe on.  I throw his jacket at him, his backpack, a quick kiss on the head and push him out the door as soon as I hear the bus rumble up to our house.  Victory is mine, I am still the bus champion.

The kids are off and it's just me and Bacon.  I'm tired, Bacon is still getting me up at 5:30 or so.  But I'm good.  I've got no where to be today and the Olympics are on.  In fact, the big Canada vs USA hockey game starts in three hours.  I've been looking forward to this all week.  I'm going to go to the store, get some game watching essentials and Bacon and I are going to practice high fives (we are so close!).

I turn on the TV.  It's on some kids show, something that I don't know the name of but I could easily sing the theme song to.  I go to grab the remote to change the channel and set up the DVR timer.  The remote is not where it's supposed to be.  It never is.  Just like the shoes.

For the next 20 minutes I try to do it manually on the box but I'm not sure it's going well.  I think I'm recording a Spanish soap opera.  I begin truly looking for the remote, starting with the baby's room.  The kids were the last ones to have it,  I think my odds are good.

The remote isn't there.

I do spend the next 2 and 1/2 hours looking for it.  I do find it.

It was in the bottom of the shoe basket.

I take out my whiskey and wonder if it's to early in the day to start drinking. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post. As a father of three young kids I can totally relate to this. I don't remember when it happened but at some point you just stop trying to understand these things and just sort of roll with it.

    Not sure if you ever got to watch that hockey game, but I thought it was pretty good, eh.