My son has always liked to organize shoes. He likes to line up shoes in a perfect line. He likes to position them perfectly on the shoe rack and complains if someone put their shoes in the wrong spot even if they didn’t know there was a spot. Is this Autism? Is this the sign he is a perfectionist? Is he attracted to things that are visually a certain way and that is appealing to him?
So why does this shoe appeal to him?
We were out shopping at the mall last Saturday and I decided to dive into a department store that had a big sale on shoes and boots to see if there was anything there that caught my eye. You are probably wondering why I’d drag a 2 year old in a stroller and a 5 year old with Autism shoe shopping but in small doses I try to get them both used to different experiences for varying reasons. I started looking at all different types of short ankle boots with low heels but my son seemed to have very different ideas of what I should be shopping for this day.
He kept dragging me over to where all the women’s stilletoo heels were and saying “Mommy buy this one….Mommy try this one on.” My jaw literally dropped to the floor at the shoes he was pointing to. I took a quick look at Johnny’s Daddy who had a comical yet look of disbelief on his face that his son was being so passionate about having his Mommy where sexy pumps. Other ladies who were shopping as well were smiling and one joked that my son has fabulous taste. The shoes were beautiful but right now with the way I’m leading my life its hard to explain to the little ones that 5″ heels at the playground are not a good idea.
I explained to my son that I liked all of his choices but today I was looking for black boots…not snow boots but blacks to walk around the city. He nods his head and quickly looks at a table of knee high boots and picks out the sexiest black up to the knee boots with 5 inch heals and says “get these Mommy….nice ones.” I was now flabbergated because he’s not letting go of his idea that I should be wearing really high heels. I kept a straight face and explained that they are out of my size right now but lets look at more boots. It didn’t go over well when I said that I usually have to go into more shoe stores before I find a shoe or boot that fits. “No…buy shoes and boots here Mommy.” We avoided a near upset by re-directing and suggesting that we scope out some shoes for Daddy but we have to take an elevator. It worked.
The thing is sometimes when you think you are in the clear you aren’t. We get home and before we can take off our shoes Johnny looks at the shoe rack and says “Mommy needs new shoes.” I thanked him for helping me look for shoes and that I enjoyed his choices but I will have to go to more stores before I make a choice. He points to the my shoes and says “I want Mommy to wear high shoes.” He was genuinely excited at the idea.
I have one question….how did he get to the realization that I should be wearing 5 inch heels? Is is from a magazine that is in our reading basket at home? I don’t think anyone in early child education that works with him wears stilettos. Could it be that my son just enjoys the look of the shoes and has great taste? Just another one of those things I ponder as I raise my little guy.
Edit: As I prepare to publish this post Johnny sees the image of the red shoe on the computer screen and says “Mommy get those shoes” and kisses my cheek. Smiles.