If for no other reason than, SHOES=OUTSIDE.
She's often trying to put shoes on her feet, in a desperate effort to make a break for the great outdoors. And really, it's not even the yard she's totally interested in. The van is an acceptable substitute (and that often also means, McDonald's to her). She just wants OUT of the house. This girl's got the worst case of chronic cabin fever you've ever seen.
So she shuffles in and out of her room, with this pair (not necessarily matching) and that one, trying hopelessly to get them on her feet. The only trouble is, is that most of the time, she's picked out a pair of LIBBY'S shoes.
When she's really serious about going out, she'll even get herself a pair of socks.
And believe it or not, she CAN get them on.
Now, I wouldn't say she's comfortable in them, the way she gets them on there, but she does it. She's that determined.
Unfortunately, the shoe/sock combinations generally don't get put on in a workable way, and she's left to falter around the house. Trying to convince us that, shoes HAVE been accomplished, and therefore OUTSIDE must now commence.
She scoffs at rain.
She scoffs at cold.
She scoffs at the street too.
And that's what worries me.....
This morning, Michaela and I were going through her normal getting-ready-for-school routine. I got her up, took her to the bathroom (if I put her there, she will often go, but she doesn't do it on her own), got her dressed, got her her medicine, brushed her teeth and washed her face. In order to keep her from waking everybody in the house (who's all still asleep at 6:15 in the morning), I don't put her shoes on until it's close to when the bus comes. She shuffles her feet horribly, and that makes a lot of noise on my wood floors.
We went to the living room, where she sits on the coffee table, and I sit on the couch to put her shoes on. She lifts up her leg and props her foot on my lap. I go grab a shoe and start opening it up to put it on her foot....
"No, that one." she says.
"Yeah, I'll do that one in a minute."
After I get the shoe ready to put on, I notice I've picked up the wrong one. It fits the foot on the floor, not the one on my lap. And it dawns on me, Did she just tell me that I had the wrong shoe? Does she know which shoe goes on what foot? So I decide to test it out....
"Boo, does this shoe go on this foot?"
"No. That one."
I switch the options.....
"Does this one go on THIS foot?"
"Noooo. THAT one!"
"OK, Boo, which foot does this one go on?" Holding up a shoe.
"That one, right there. Right there."
She was right.
It's little things like this that make my day. I don't know how many people WITHOUT a handicapped child can appreciate something little and mundane like that. I don't know if it would've stirred ME before Michaela came along. But I now have learned to enjoy these little streams of sunshine that burst through the fog in her mind. Some days, she just seems so UNABLE. And then she pulls a stunt like this, and I realize just how ABLE she can be.
I'm thankful for the ABLE days.
And for a kid with an obsessive shoe fetish.