Been having a long-running argument with the little booger about shoes.

Whenever my wife or I tells him to get his “shimbal,” Korean for shoes, he gets the gray Saucony sneakers he’s about to outgrow.  That’s awesome, like we used to say about junior soldiers, he understands and executes.  Except for the bothersome little fact that he’s about to outgrow those shoes, and he doesn’t just have one pair.  My wife bought him a great pair of toddler flip-flops with a back strap to ensure they stay on, and my mother bought him not one but two pair of light Velcro-strapped sandals.

None of which he’ll deign to wear, except, of course, for the Sauconys – did I mention that they still need to dry from today’s visit to the park?  They turned on the water spout at his park, and instead of doing something silly like making him take off his shoes, I let him run through the water in said Sauconys and socks.

Another dad said to me, “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, our wives would get pissed at us either way.”  This was before the other dad, while chasing one twin around the sprinkler, had his other twin fall and get a nickel-sized scrape on his forehead.  The other dad, while holding a paper towel to his injured son’s forehead, said to me, “Well, she’s really gonna lose it now.”  I gave him my best sympathetic forced grin, which is daddy-body-language for “I feel your pain, bro, but better you than me.”

To see Ryan react so violently when I try to put the other shoes on him, you’d think I told him I was going to permanently 86 pizza from his diet.  Or that maybe I was threatening to burn his blankie.  No, “Ryan shimbal” are those Sauconys, and that’s that.

Okay, then, we’ll put on your wet shimbal.  You win.  I’m apparently a horrible dad.


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