It all started as we innocently waltzed past the shoes section in our local department store. The obsession with the Spiderman gumboots that is. We weren’t looking for shoes…or gumboots for that matter, and despite the temperature still being in the low 30’s and not a drop of rain had been seen in about four months, my three year old decided that the Spiderman gumboots, hanging at perfect pre-schooler eye height, were essential to his existence and he simply had to have them. We’ve all been there.
Being adverse to spontaneous non-essential buys, I used my expert negotiation and distraction skills to carefully coax him away with the promise of a swim, our original plan for that hot afternoon and I assumed (hoped desperately) that the persistent conversation of how these Spiderman gumboots were all that mattered in life would slowly disappear. How wrong was I?
It started at bath time that evening. “If I had Spiderman gumboots mum, I could wear them in the bath and my feet wouldn’t get wet” – perfect, that is exactly what every mum wants - something to prevent their perfectly grubby little three-year-old from getting wet…in the bath…I mean who actually wants their child to get wet in the bath?! And so it went, for about another two weeks.
I had already made the decision on about day three of his hilarious attempts to secure the boots, that once his plea had stopped, I would pick him up a pair. Quite frankly I had run out of reasons as to why he didn’t need any gumboots as the “we’ve-had-no-rain-for-four-months and it’s-30-degrees-everyday” went in one ear and out the other.
Seven weeks on and I can report, for better or worse, that the gumboots have been a staple (the only) part of Jasper’s shoe collection, worn daily to preschool, the supermarket, parks, long bush walks and not least, everywhere. Ironically, the day after Jasper’s world was forever changed for the better with the arrival of these boots, it rained, at preschool, and he had the childhood pleasure of running around outside ensuring they well and truly utilised for their initial purpose in life.
I have come to realise that there are far worse things in life that he could have desperately wish for. Sheepishly, I have to admit, that they have been a lifesaver on many occasions (camping, beach, bush, sibling Saturday soccer games and speeding up the 'getting ready to leave the house' process and the like). I have so many wonderful memories of gumboots and mud in my childhood and my older two children, who three years ago were in wet-and-windy Wellington (NZ), had the joy of experiencing as well. He doesn’t need to know that, of course.