To my kids’ school shoes. Every morning I say those immortal words to you: “So where the bloody hell are you?”
Yep, in those final frantic moments before we head out the door, I can never find you. One of you, maybe, but never two. Are you under the bed? In the bed? In the rain? On a train? Would it be possible for my kids to just leave you, sitting in a neat pair, side-by-side, next to the back door? Apparently not.
They seem to have a mind of their own, and in my mind this is what I imagine my kids put them through each and every day.
No wonder they’re trying to hide.
8:19am: These shoes aren’t made for walking.
No one’s going anywhere without you. Eventually I locate you. Onto the feet and off to school.
School shoes get bored easily. They don’t want to just walk down the street when they could skip like pixies or stomp like dinosaurs. They jump onto low walls and stroll along them. They suddenly become overwhelmed by superstition and feel they have to step over every crack in the footpath. Fortunately, you’re on their feet, to help keep scrapes and bruises to a minimum.
8:30am: Dirt alert.
Oh, and did I mention muddy puddles? I can’t blame Peppa Pig totally. I think my kids would have been drawn to them anyway, just for that satisfying splat of landing two feet flat in water and splashing nearby parents. Irresistible, really.
9:27am: Take five.
The school day begins. Some lessons have my kids kicking you aimlessly against the desk legs in boredom. But not too many. How can iPads ever be boring?
11:59am: Eyes on the prize.
School shoes are show-offs. Quickly cleaned to look brand-new, they’re ready to walk up on stage for their moment of glory. Fortunately, today’s school assemblies are “every kid wins a prize” affairs. There’s not much time for impatient toe-tapping before a glowing child is called up to receive an award for “leaving spaces between words in sentences” or “not bursting into tears after dropping a Lego model on the ground”.