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Every day was the same. When I picked Gwen up from school she immediately begged to go to the store. She either wanted to go to the grocery store for a lunchable or to the shoe store.

I have learned to do most of my grocery shopping without Gwen. Her latest food jag is lunchables. For a while there I was able to make her homemade lunchables and she was satisfied. Not anymore! Unfortunately I have become my father. I can’t resist buying “treats” for my shopping partners – usually Gwen. Lunchables are convenient for me but also very expensive. Lately Gwen won’t even finish eating them. I know! How could anyone not be able to finish a $5 snack? As a result, I try to hit the grocery store alone.

Gwen is a typical girl. She has more shoes than she knows what to do with. The one pair of shoes she claimed she would die without was a pair of lace up sneakers. Every day she would beg to go to the mall, to Target, to anywhere they sell shoes. She wanted “tie shoes.” All her friends had “tie shoes.” All her friends chose fun stuff from the treasure box after proving they could tie their “tie shoes.” I was the meanest mom ever and Gwen made sure I knew it every day for saying no.

The weeks leading up to Christmas were the hardest. I wanted so badly to shake her and say, “They’re under the tree if you could ever have any patience!” She was convinced the shoe box was actually a Barbie and would longingly caress it. Gavin wanted to buy her “tie shoes” for Christmas. I had to spill the secret that I already did. Heath and I were impressed with him wanting to get her shoes. Gavin really honed in on what his brother and sister would want for gifts.

One day I asked her questions about what kind of shoes she wanted. I looked up Twinkle Toes shoes by Sketchers and quickly chose not to buy them! Instead I opted for more reasonably priced shoes. They are white canvas covered in silver sprinkles. Kids grow so fast and I wasn’t sure how quickly she would learn to tie, so I bought a size 2. Currently her shoes are a size 1.

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Note the look of stunned awe on her face.

Meanwhile the boys were opening pants I got them. Parker’s pants were wrapped in a mashed potatoes box. He honestly thought I bought him mashed potatoes and was fine with it because he likes it! The pants were less enthusiastically received!

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My mom points resumed after the shoes. You can see how thrilled she was. I think she forgot that she originally thought the box of shoes was a Barbie. Santa hooked her up with seven Disney princess Barbies so life was awesome.

Surprisingly Gwen didn’t wear the shoes much during the winter break. Some days she could tie them well and some days she was easily frustrated and asked me to tie them. She was very excited to wear them to school today. She tied them just fine. I tightened the bows and put in a tight double knot. My problem with kids and laces is that even though they can tie them, they don’t tie them tightly and have to tie them multiple times a day.

Gwen went on and on about how she was going to show her teacher and get to pick something from the treasure box. Oh. I unpicked the double knots so she could demonstrate her new skills at school.

When I picked her up from school the first words out of her mouth were, “Can we go to the store!” Actually, that was the second thing she said. First she told me that she got to pick something from the treasure box when she showed her teacher she can tie her own shoes! Then she asked if we could go to the grocery store for a lunchable. I steered the conversation back to the shoes and the sticky notes she picked from the treasure box. She told me that her friends kept asking her to show them how to tie her shoes. Apparently she untied and tied many times today. I told her that in the future she can tell them her shoes are tied and doesn’t need to worry about it.

As much as I’m not thrilled with 150 sticky notes that will inevitably be scattered everywhere, I am proud of her. She worked hard to learn to tie her shoes. Pride beams from her face as she realizes this makes her even more of a big girl. My baby is growing up.

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