At first he resists leaving the house and finds any excuse to delay the process. He refuses to get dressed, takes an hour to eat breakfast, or says he’s just finishing something off on Minecraft. His list of excuses are legendary, he could write a book called 101 ways to avoid doing something you don’t want to.
Following extended negotiations, bribery etc we manage to leave, but only on the proviso, this will not take any longer than forty-minutes. God I hope there’s not a queue.
We arrive at the sport shop and the first problem soon becomes apparent, there are no black Nike’s with green stripes. Now, I am as stubborn as anyone when it comes to trainers – I’m an adidas man, always have been, always will be, so I can understand his brand preference, but why must it be a green swoosh ?
There are black ones with a black swoosh. What about these? “Nah, don’t like them”. There are black ones with a red swoosh. What about these? “Nah…Well, maybe…..Nah, they’ve got laces, I want Velcro” Ok but you have to learn to tie shoelaces sometime. This immediately puts more pressure on him and you can see the body language changing, so I backtrack quickly.
What about these ones? Look, they have a green stripe, ok they are white but they have Velcro. “Hmmm…..yeah, Ok then I like them”. It’s a small miracle, he’s picked a pair, we are sorted. Excuse me; do you have these in a size 2?
Five minutes later, assistant returns and apologises, sorry these only start at size 3. Oh crap, just when we thought it was in the bag. Another potential meltdown point, we pacify him for a second or two and quickly thinking on my feet I ask what Nikes they have in his size with Velcro. A few minutes later, the guy appears with two boxes and I’m praying by this time one of these will hold the answer.
First box opens and they have laces. Er, I thought we said no laces. He doesn’t like laces. Son is now rocking back and forth, meltdown approaching fast. That could just be enough to push him over the edge.
I wait with baited breath for the second box to open, I’m ready for the kick off, I’m ready to leave the shop in a hurry, I’m ready for the stares and for the embarrassment. By a stroke of luck, or fate or a butterfly flapping its wings in New Zealand, the second box opens…… they are size 2, they have a green stripe, they have Velcro…. but…. there is a touch of blue in them…….. “…..Yeah I like those Dad”
Relief, at least temporarily. We have the trainers. I almost want to punch the air, he hasn’t noticed we’ve strained over forty minutes yet either…. and we still have new swimming shorts to pick. Yeah, he likes his old shorts too, the ones with the green and the blue pattern on them, The ones he got two years ago and still wears because he couldn’t find another pair that were the same last year…..Here we go again….