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At sixteen months, Molly wears a size four shoe. With some fives thrown in. She's definitely too small for the adorable size six boots someone bought her for her birthday, so I'm watching them slowly float out of season in her closet. Sadness.

Jack wears... a size six? Seven? I think seven. When his sixes looked to be getting a bit tight I took him to Target, found a pair of inoffensive size sevens and came home.

(Background Information! While I have been known to drop some change on a stylish pair of shoes (Molly) or an everybody-thinks-this-brand-is-the-best-for-baby-feet shoe (Jack, before Molly was born) I tend to go for cheap kid shoes. I mean, who knows how long they're going to last? And Jack's just going to stomp in the first puddle he sees anyway. So. All that to say: AM HORRIFYINGLY CHEAP.)

Then! I saw somewhere that Payless had kids' shoes on sale and I thought, "Hey, why not?" I might have also been thinking something like, "Is it really fair that my girl has a shoe for every occasion and in every color when my son has, oh, one pair of church shoes and one pair of puddle-stomping shoes? IS IT?"

So I rolled them into Payless and went straight for the wall of kid shoes. A salesgirl was back there straightening things up and she offered to measure Jack's feet. And since I honestly have no idea what size he is, I eagerly agreed.

Jack took his shoe off and cooperated with the little metal slider thingy and the salesgirl announced, "Size nine!"


"Can you try that one more time?" I asked sweetly, and watched her push Jack's foot all the way back in the ruler and slide the tab to the tip of his toe. Nine. Maybe eight and a half.

I stared at my kid, whose size nine clodhoppers I'd been stuffing into size sixes (without much resistance, I should add) for the past month. And of COURSE I immediately bought a pair of size eight and a halfs... because the nines seemed so big. Must be the brand, I told myself. I'd seen his foot measured with my own eyes! He was a nine! MOMMY FAIL!

The next day he wore his new shoes at his grandmother's house. "I don't know, Maggie," my mom said, "He could probably just kick those things off!"

"But it said NINE!" I wailed.

Last night I held the bottom of the size eight and a half shoe to the bottom of Jack's foot. It was enormous. Had I not seen that in the store? I went and found a size six shoe: the exact length of his foot, meaning it was probably too small. Then I went upstairs, opened the kids' closet and dug around until I found a forgotten plastic bag of old shoes my sister-in-law sent me last year, shoes I'd stuffed away because they were all way too big, Jack wouldn't be wearing those until he was FIFTEEN.

I found an inoffensive pair of seven and a half sneakers. I brought them downstairs. I put them on Jack's feet. They don't look too small, they don't slide off and when I asked him how they felt, he chirped, "Oh-Kay!"

Of course, he said that with the size sixes and the size nines too.

Am I the only shoe size-stupid mom out there?

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