The crazy things we parents do for our kids #1-because we love them, and #2-because we want to avoid any unnecessary battles...
Drue ABHORS wearing socks or tights. At first, I thought she was just being difficult, wanting to be in control, or just being outright disobedient. I have never witnessed anything like it before. It got to the point where we'd be getting ready to go somewhere and the phrase, "Girls, time to get your socks and shoes on" would cause her to meltdown. Right there in front of our eyes. All because she was anticipating the feel of the socks on her feet.
It started sometime at the change of seasons when it was too cool to continue to wear our norm of flip flops or crocs without socks. She would burst into tears as soon as we slipped the sock on her foot. We tried different kinds of socks, we tried situating them different ways, we tried to have her move them around on her tiny feet until they were comfortable, and we tried distracting her with crazy antics, all to no avail. There was always a hysteric fit thrown.
Of the two of us, David is the most patient in these types of circumstances. So I would work with her as long as I could contain myself, and when I still couldn't get it right, I would send her off to her Daddy. Of course, he's not here during the week, so finally, I just started telling her, "I know it feels kooky, but you just have to wear them until we get Reese dropped off at school, then you can take your socks and your shoes off."
That tactic worked...for awhile. But there were still the hysterics. They never went away. The time length was just shortened.
Finally I went to our good friend, Google, and typed in the issues she was having. Lo, and behold, website after website popped up about children with similar behaviors. I felt horrible. She wasn't being defiant, she was actually physically uncomfortable when the seam at the toe end of the sock rubbed up against her little piggies. One article I came across was advertising "seamless socks" so I kept telling her I was going to order her some, but then kept thinking, "What if I spend money on seamless socks, and she still has an issue with them?".
In the meantime, I decided to make homemade seamless socks by cutting off the toe end of a handful of pairs of her socks. It was really a move out of desperation one morning a few weeks ago. We had to be somewhere and I just grabbed the scissors in haste and cut the ends off her socks. She started wailing when I brought the socks over to her, but when I slipped them on and her toes poked out, she autmoatically stopped. Her little face brightened up through her tears, and she excitedly said, "Mommy! These socks don't feel kooky!".
I breathed a huge sigh of relief. She is like a different child when it comes to getting ready to go somewhere now. And she always reminds us to "get the socks without any toes"...like we'd forget.
I no longer make her wear tights to church. She wears footless leggings under skirts or dresses, and toeless socks. I think I may go ahead and order some seamless ones for her to wear to church or over to other people's houses, so if she takes her shoes off, she won't look like a homeless orphan.
Rather then dismiss the importance of their feelings, I have been trying to be better at saying things like, "I understand you're upset about such and such, but this is why we have to do this or that". The other day we were getting ready to pick Reese up from preschool and it was the first time Drue had cried about her sock since the toe cutting began. It brought back all my feelings of frustration and anxiety. (This time I think the heel wasn't on straight and felt weird in her shoe). I took a deep breath and as we backed out of the driveway I said, "Drue, I care about your issues, and I will try to fix it as soon as we get to preschool."
Still crying she corrected, "They're not issues!" and held up her tiny feet for me to see...."They're shoes!".