Do I owe Caillou an apology?



In typical toddler form, my kids are growing.  And I am starting to get the hang of the reality that each season brings almost an entirely new wardrobe and shoes for each of my kids.  It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but I’m learning.  Typically this process unfolds without as much as a whimper from Charlie or Giuliana.  (Yep, my kids have names!)

In the past, the children have humored me by trying on clothes and shoes, wiggling throughout the process, but doing it anyway.  This year, shoe shopping proved to be a bit different.  In my first attempt to buy shoes for Charlie, he began fussing and pulling his foot away from me as I approached with the offending shoe.  Okay, not today, I figured, dismissing the experience to not being in the mood.

Despite taking a different tack by talking up the opportunity for big boy shoes and trying to generate some positive buzz around shoe shopping, our second attempt was a bust as well.

By the third try, I was determined to make the shoe purchase happen.  I prepped everyone in the car, on the way into the mall and finally on our approach to the shoe store.  Washington spin doctors don’t do as much positive spin as I was working.  And it began very well.

“Charlie, do you like this shoe,” was met with enthusiastic and repeated nodding. Still thinking I was getting it done smoothly, I whisked him down the aisle and assumed the Al Bundy position and began to slip the new shoe on his socked foot.  Not so fast, Mom.  Charlie began waving his foot up and down, in some sort of toddler game of keep away and repeating the word “big” like it was a bad thing.

“Right, big, like a big boy” I repeated.  Still not getting that apparently “big” is code for something a guy really doesn’t want on his foot.  It didn’t make sense to me.  My little boy, the one who sat quietly on his father’s lap enduring a blood draw without so much as a peep or a tear was crying over trying on shoes???  Were we really related?  I mean, we were talking about shoes here.

It was then that I remembered him, my most unlikely ally.  The yellow shirt, blue short wearing, whining four year-old cartoon, the little cartoon boy who is the bane of my existence, where my toddlers and television meet.

Caillou….the Joker to my Batman, the Darth Vader to my Luke Skywalker, the calories to my chocolate.

Darn it.  Caillou could help me here.

I started by reminding Charlie how at first his buddy Caillou didn’t want to get new shoes.  But he tried them on and liked them.  And for my finale,  “Didn’t Charlie want to be a big boy like Caillou?”

Charlie’s resistance melted and it wasn’t long before he was proudly marching around before the sales women repeating his hero’s name.  My son had new shoes, and he was smiling.  Thank you Caillou.

But, I still don’t have to like him, do I?

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