RIP Laundry Machine

This week man. It was actually a perfectly fine week. Even a great week. The weather was good. It was only 4 work days as opposed to 5. And my kids started a new nighttime ritual of reading to each other for 20 minutes which is so much more charming then when they read to me for 20 minutes. All in all it was a great week. Except for one little problem…. everything broke. There were the little (yet still sad) things like my favorite jacket which ripped on a machine at work, as well as some bigger ticket items.

Girls

1) The GPS
I’m not entirely sure if it’s the actual GPS, or the power cord. I’m hoping it’s the later. Either way it caused some severe disorientation when it decided to give out in the middle of northern New Jersey over the weekend. Thankfully we made it home. Eventually.

2) The Minivan
AKA my right hand man. My other half. My wing man. It was just the breaks this time. But I fear the end may be near for our faithful friend.

3) The Washing Machine
I should never have tried to clean those machine washable couch covers to begin with. Perhaps this is a sign from God that our house is clean enough the way it is and that I should be relaxing on the coach with cookies instead of trying to clean it.

WashingMachine

RIP Laundry Machine – Thank you for the dedication and service to our family for the last 4 years.

 4) My Piggy Bank
See numbers 2 and 3

5) My Sanity
Was it ever whole to begin with?

Throwback Thursday

I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately. I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps it’s the end of the school year, and the fact that I will soon have a 5th and 2nd grader. Perhaps it’s how unbaby like my toddler is suddenly looking… and acting (welcome terrible almost 2’s). Perhaps it’s the giant wrinkle that I recently noticed has made a permanent appearance in my forehead. I’m not really sure.

Violet has just started wearing Mariyah’s old baby clothes. Since Mariyah came to us at age 1 and was fairly tall, the smallest size we have left from her baby days is 18-24 months. Every time Violet wears one of Mariyah’s old outfits my heart does a little leap for joy at the memory of baby Mariyah, which is followed by a quick stab of pain at the thought of how I miss that sweet tiny thing. I know that sounds a little over dramatic, but guys, somedays it really feels like this whole parenting thing is going by too fast.

The other day Violet was wearing a particularly sweet outfit that Mariyah once wore. I decided to peek through my pictures and see if I happened to have any of Mariyah wearing the same outfit. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I did take a pretty bittersweet trip down memory lane. These were 6 years ago at a visit to grandma’s, James is 4 and Mariyah is 17 months, which is just a little younger than Violet is now.

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Her doll’s matching outfit. Her smile. Her socks. I can’t even with this.

Nostalgia1

He has always been so athletic. He seriously just grabbed uncle Jamie’s old scooter and rode it like a pro.

Nostalgia2

So small I could carry him. Now he’s nearly my height and can carry me.

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If there is one thing I miss almost as much as my tiny children, it’s my flare jeans. RIP fashion trends of my youth.

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Those beautiful 17 month old curls I had no idea what to do with.

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Such a trickster. And look at how clueless I was with those pajamas. I’m almost ashamed to post this picture, but since I know many of you are prospective adoptive or foster parents, let me use my mistakes to educate you – don’t dress your Black child in monkey clothes.

Nostalgia6

Playing in grandma’s yard

Nostalgia8And of course the best big brother ever helping his little sister. He might be much bigger now, but not much has changed there.

It Necessitates a Community to Raise an Adoptee

Simon was adopted as an infant in Kenya, his exact age at the time can’t be ascertained because his mother didn’t disclose the details of his adoption before she passed away due to complications brought on by a growth in her bile duct. I know you will all enjoy reading his perspective as an adoptee. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please do so here.

i & d

23rd April, 2005 when I was 20 years old, is the day that literally marked the start of my experience as an adoptee. Prior to that day, being adopted was a non-issue for me. The day that my dear mommy passed on, it changed. I recall an elder from church fetching me from a group of my close friends as we were making arrangements about how they would go donate blood the following day. I had been advised by the doctor that getting several blood donors would help us lower the cost of mommy’s surgery which was to be conducted in a few days’ time. The uniqueness and timing of his call made it obvious to me that it was about her demise. On the previous day, the doctor had done well in preparing me for the worst. I took in the news astonishingly bravely; something even the elder commented on and later in his prayers thanked God for giving me such courage. In deed at that moment the implications of what had just happened had not sunk in. That only came to happen later on.

Later that evening, alone in my bedroom, I wept till my eyes were red hot. All of a sudden it became clear that who I had lost was not just my loving mommy, but also the link between me and the rest of my world. She was the mommy who despite us not sharing blood ties, had toiled hard to make my life worthwhile. I recalled days when I was in a boarding primary school when I would sit close to the gate on visiting days eagerly waiting for her to appear. When she would finally arrive, I would run and hug her to a point where we would almost topple over together. I was sure I would break down if she ever failed to come see me. I was always so happy when she was near; the world around me would literally stop moving.

By adopting me, she had provided me with a family, friends, relatives and a community, a system in which she was the core of. At the moment she passed, I highly doubted that this system would function smoothly without her. This was a gut feeling that was to be confirmed sooner than I could have expected. I and my two siblings, an older sister and a younger brother, both of whom were also adopted, soon found ourselves on our own. A section of the family and the community around us started talking openly about us being “alien”, even to an extent of taking positions regarding our right to inheritance based on that notion. Our contrary opinion regarding succession was taken as a sign of rebellion against the family norms. Some even accused us of spoiling the relationship that existed between mommy and the family before our adoption.

All of a sudden, I found myself at the age of twenty having to revisit the question of my identity once again. This was an issue that I had encountered when I first joined nursery school at the age of four. Some kids would taunt me as “mwana wa kuguruo” which is my native Kikuyu dialect for a child who was bought. They would refuse to play with me as well. I didn’t know why, and trying to get an answer from my mommy was futile. I had given up on the issue, only to connect the dots that I was adopted after my brother’s adoption four years later. It became clear then why the children had labeled me as such. By God’s grace, however, the matter never bothered me at all. I guess the usual response by mommy that those were just kids who were not aware of what they were saying did the trick.  Indeed, as I grew older those sentiments died off.

This time however, it was adults who were the antagonists, some of whom were outwardly very okay with us and even treated us quite well when mommy was alive. It became rather apparent that the absolute tranquility we had enjoyed when mommy was there was sorely because she acted as a buffer so that such reactions never reached us. Mommy had the traits of the Machiavellian prince, feared and loved at the same time. I can bet that very few men would have had the guts to stand up to her. Yet to others, she commanded such great respect that they would not dare question her decisions. As an adult now, I was also able to figure out that the four year olds who had taunted me in nursery school had not been so smart to discover on their own that I was adopted. A grownup somewhere must have told them so and even gone further to elaborate that they should not play with “mwana wa kuguruo.” I felt more and more alienated from the community as time went by. In fact, I still find it difficult at this time  to relate with some of the people from the community where we lived then. The thoughts of their hypocrisy and how negatively they perceived us still helplessly lingers in my head.

I’m not certain of the effect these events had on my siblings but it took me nearly ten years to fill the gap that mommy left. More so because those who were ordinarily expected to fill the gap did not, but rather did the exact opposite. I’m now very convinced that the love and positive attention we received from our relatives, friends and the community when mommy was alive contributed a great deal to our contentment and wellbeing as we grew up. Personally, I never felt different from others as they didn’t treat me differently. To me being adopted was just a norm that the society was seemingly very okay with. I’m pretty sure that my experience would have been very different had the society continued with the same vigor of embracing us even after mommy was gone.

This all proves how critical the extended family and the community are in ensuring wholesome development of adoptees.  This would be even better off for the adoptees if that support is out of a genuine desire and not hypocrisy or fear as was in our case. It should be out of love and the realization that adoptees, just like children growing up with biological parents, are social beings who equally crave a sense of belonging. Not just to a mother or a father or both but to a larger social and/or religious circle and to humanity in general. There’s an African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child”, to this I would say, “It necessitates a community to raise an adoptee.”

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i & d author pic

Simon currently works as an advocacy officer  with Child in family focus, an NGO that advocates for family based care for orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya. He blogs at simonpoetically.blogspot.com where he shares his adaption stories and creates awareness on adoption through poetry. Simon is married to Zaweria and they are endowed with two daughters.

Monday Morning Coffee Talk: The Duggars

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I can feel myself tiptoeing on to some thin ice with this one… but I was wondering if maybe we could talk about the Duggars. Let me first say that I have not read whatever police document people are citing in it’s entirety, I’ve only read the snippets that have been posted all over the internet. Whenever there is a big controversial issue in life, I feel slightly envious of the people who so adamantly pick a side. My Facebook feed has been filled with Duggar haters and Duggar lovers lately. I myself can rarely pick a side on anything. I hear the details and I just see this great big wall of gray. I’m envious of those who are black and white on issues like this, I would love to feel passionately that I knew the answer on everything. I know what side I lean towards on this one, but I’m still interested to discuss it.

The first time I heard that Josh Duggar molested his sisters was awhile ago. Prekids at least. If memory serves I was sitting on the computer in my old Manhattan apartment, which would make it 8 years ago. Someone posted on a random message board about how terrible the Duggar family was, and that Josh had abused his sisters, and the parents had covered it up. Naturally I googled the heck out of every possible search term and couldn’t find anything (except other message board posters elsewhere stating the same thing). I deduced that this person was what the internet had come to affectionately refer to as a troll. Time passed and I forgot the 30 minutes I had spent googling the eldest Duggar boy.

And then last week came. And the headlines came. And I read the snippets which stated exactly what this random person stated so many years ago. And my heart skipped a beat because if this many random people on the internet knew, and Oprah knew, I feel pretty confident that TLC knew too… Yet unlike Oprah who reported it to police, TLC continued to pan for gold in the stream of children coming out of Michelle Duggar’s body.

Many Duggar supporters as well as the Duggar family have commented that at 14 and 15 people make mistakes. And that does sound logical. But then look at a picture of Josh Duggar compared to little 5 or 6 year old Joy Anna, and there just isn’t any room for a mistake like that.

DuggarsAgesDuggar supporters as well as the Duggar family have also brought up that Josh stopped molesting girls after his short stint in 2002-2003. Apparently Josh is now an upstanding father and husband. That may or may not be true. I certainly think it’s possible, and for his children’s sake I hope it is. But even if that is true, and Josh is just fine today, what about the girls? If the old internet message board poster (who I now believe) was correct, it was his 4 youngest sisters and a babysitter/mother’s helper type of girl from their church. Apparently at the time, Jim Bob thought it might help Josh’s problem if the babysitter stopped wearing form fitting blouses. IE he blamed it on the girl. If that is how he treated the babysitter, I assume his daughter’s were treated in a similar fashion. I’m not saying he wasn’t angry with his son, I just think that in addition to poorly handling it for his son, he also handled it really poorly for his daughters. Especially given the fact that they didn’t receive counseling from a therapist who was certified to deal with children who had been sexually abused. So even if it is possible Josh is just fine today, it’s likely his victims are still struggling. You’ll notice they haven’t given any statements aside from Joy Anna asking the documents be destroyed.

I could also probably make an entire posts on this, but I can’t help but think of the white privilege involved in this situation. A Black family with that many children wouldn’t even have a reality show to begin with. However if they did, and there son did this, I can guarantee there wouldn’t be many christians rallying for forgiveness.

So yep, Duggars. What are your thoughts? Talk to me on this Monday Morning!

 

My Favorite Little Thief

Someone in our house has a new favorite hobby. I’ll give you five picture clues, let’s see if you can figure it out.

One:

VioletShoes3

Two:VioletShoes4Three:

VioletShoes2

Four:VioletShoes5Five:

VioletShoes1

I’m sure you get the picture. Violet has become a little shoe thief. She goes for daddy’s, mommy’s, bubba’s, and Yiyah’s. The other day she even tried to put a doll shoe on and was less than thrilled when she couldn’t get her big toe into it. To be honest, she walks better in heels than I do. It’s pretty cute, the only problem is tracking them down when she takes them off. I spent 15 minutes looking for my comfy sneakers for James and Mariyah’s field day yesterday. Naturally one shoe was under the coffee table and one was hidden in the toy box.

Adoption Talk Link Up: Answering Those Question

It’s Adoption Talk Link Up time! This weeks topic is answering those questions. If you’ve adopted, are an adoptee, birth mom, or foster parent you know exactly what we mean by those questions. If you are completely new to linking up, welcome! and here’s how to join us.

So You Like That Chocolate

Soooooo, You Like That Chocolate?

Awkward questions. They come with the territory when you adopt or foster. They range from simple inquiries, to slightly nosy, to downright hurtful. I think everyone is told to expect them. I certainly assumed we would be getting a few. But until you are actually on the receiving end, especially in the presence of your child, it’s hard to know how to react.

I know we got a few awkward questions immediately after our children arrived. There was the man on the subway who asked about my assumed fertility problems (because really is there any better place to discuss IUI with a stranger). There was the small stream of people at the park asking if I was the babysitter and if they could have my number. Being new to the whole sticking out in public thing, I wasn’t really sure what to say to these early comments, and the people pleaser in me felt like it was my responsibility to answer them. I was keenly aware that although they were too young to understand, James and Mariyah were listening. Yet still I usually mumbled a response and later regretted it.

One day while walking the children to daycare a man approached me at the cross walk. He eyed James and Mariyah and then winked at me. “Soooo, you like that chocolate huh?” Awkward question for the win. As had become my routine, I fumbled. I mumbled. Despite his rudeness, I spent a moment debating what I should say. Should I explain that I was a foster parent? Or just ignore him? How did one answer something like that? James decided to take over for me, “Yep! We love chocolate!” and that was that. The cross walk signaled and off I charged with my stroller in front of me and a quizzical gaze piercing my back. Now obviously James had thought the man was referring to actual chocolate, which we do indeed love. But that ladies and gentleman was the moment I learned that for me, awkward questions are best answered with sarcasm.

I don’t use sarcasm all the time. If someone asks me a genuine question (not in front of my children) about the adoption or foster care process I am more than happy to discuss it. It’s the nosy prying questions that are a problem. When Mariyah was around 2ish Rob and I were at the grocery store with her. An older lady kept giving me the side eye. Back and fourth she looked between Rob, Mariyah, and me. As I took a few steps toward her to reach for the bread she leaned in and whispered, “That child, she is adopted right?” there was a slight disdain in her voice and it instantly rubbed me the wrong way. Now I’m not big on lying, but Mariyah was not adopted at the time, she was our foster child. Nope I said and grabbed my bread. “But… but… she’s… you know…” back and fourth her eyes darted from my white husband to my black daughter. This lady clearly wanted a little more of an explanation than she had gotten. I leaned in again, put my finger to my lips and whispered Shhhhh! He hasn’t noticed yet.

As my children have grown older it has been a privilege to watch their confidence grow as they learn how to respond to things. Last summer we attended Transracial Journeys Family Camp (previously called Weaving Cultures) where the kids did a W.I.S.E Up workshop, which basically helped them learn to handle responding to proding questions. Mariyah proudly announced afterwards that she didn’t have to answer anything she didn’t want to, while James proudly announced he could make a joke if he wanted to instead of answering. Although I hate that people ask them uncomfortable questions, I love to see them owning their responses. Recently at the playground a child asked Mariyah if I was her real mom, which Mariyah simply pretended not to hear. The child then moved on to James who replied sarcastically, “well she isn’t imaginary is she?” A few weeks later an adult started prodding me about where my children were from. Here, they are from here. “Yes but where are they FROM?” The United States of America! “Yes but where are they FROM like Ethiopia or Haiti?” James piped in with a smile, “There are black kids in America too ya know.”

If what I hear from adult adoptees is true, the personal questions never stop. You would think as a child grows up they would lessen, but every adult adoptee I know says that even as an adult people will continue to ask. It’s awkward, and uncool. I just hope my kids confidence in dealing with it continues.

Now on to the Adoption Talk Linkup!

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Tamara has been a bit busy lately so has passed her hosting torch on to Rachel. Rachel is the mom of three sweet kiddos through adoption. Her 3 were all adopted domestically as infants, and she maintains an open relationship with their first families. She’s written some wonderful articles on transracial adoption that I have just loved, so I am very excited that she’s joined us to host!

This week’s topic: Answering “Those” Questions
Next link up: June 4th Next Topic: Anything Goes
Get the schedule here so you’re ready for the whole year!
It’s not too late to add your adoption story to our first link up.

A few things to consider:
1) Be respectful of others. Adoption can be a sensitive subject, and opinions may differ from your own. Please be respectful to everyone.
2) Everyone is welcome. Adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, experts, foster care givers, those currently in the process. Anyone with a connection to adoption is welcome.
3) Try to read and comment on at least one other post. The point of a link up is to mingle and meet other bloggers. Have fun and check out a few of your fellow blogger’s posts.
4) Feel free to link an old post. We know you may have already blogged about some of the topics on our schedule. If you would like to link something you have already written that is just fine.
5) Follow Your Hosts. No need to follow everyone on everything, but make sure you follow in enough places that you’ll be reminded to link up.

Erin @ No Bohns About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Jamie @ Starfish Confidential | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Jenni @ Joyful Journey | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Jill @ Ripped Jeans & Bifocals | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Madeleine @ Our Journey to You | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+
Rachel @ White Sugar, Brown Sugar | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

6) Grab a button for your post or blog to help us spread the word so that other adoption bloggers can join in the fun.

No Bohns About It

And that’s it! We’re so excited that you are joining us!


Momfessional Moments

Bohn Kids Walking

Okay, it’s momfessional time. Here are a few of my mom confessions:

-I change the microwave clock when my kids have sleepovers so they think they are staying up late, but really its 9:00.

-I hate helping my son with homework almost as much as he hates doing homework.

-I always take the biggest brownie.

-I put ketchup on my toddlers plate “for her to dip her food in” even though I know she’s just going to eat the ketchup with her spoon. When she asks for more I give it to her just so she won’t scream. Many a meal she has eaten ketchup exclusively.

Violet Ketchup Eating

-I hide my kid’s favorite outfits in the back of their closets to force them in to wearing something besides their favorite ratty old t-shirts.

-Last week on my day off I brought my daughter to daycare, told them I had a “quick meeting,” and then I got my hair done.

-When my children aren’t home I go through their rooms and get rid of forgotten toys without their permission.

-I have my children write thank you notes and rarely remember to deliver them.

-When my kids don’t finish their (nonperishable) snacks at school, I resend the snack until they eat it. My kids have been known to tote the same carrot sticks all week.

-Sometimes I realize I can’t remember the last time my children bathed. When I ask them they always say “last night” and I just go with it.

Anyone else care to fess up to anything?

Monday Morning Coffee Talk: Kid’s Activities

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My kids are the kind of kids who want to try everything. One wants to try everything and quit. The other wants to try everything and stick with it (meaning this child would like to do 11,000 things each day). Either way, both are always begging for more. I spend a lot of time worrying that my children are either A) over scheduled or B) Needing more activities to keep up with their peers. In other words, I’m conflicted.

Extracurricular activities are a place in parenting that Rob and I don’t see eye to eye on. I’m okay with driving them from thing to thing. He would rather not. I think it has to do with our own upbringings, my husband was the kind of kid who played with his friends in the woods. I was the kind of kid who had something scheduled every day. Being that our family currently lives in the city, that whole woods thing isn’t really an option. Which leaves our kids to entertain themselves in our tiny city yard, aka dent the neighbors car while playing catch.

It’s hard to know how many/which activities to sign up for. Some of this stuff is important (like swim lessons), some of it is fun (like baseball and art), and some of it has been guaranteed to get my kids that spot in MENSA (like chess lessons and music class). There just isn’t enough time in the day or money in the wallet for all of them to be happening. The line we attempted to draw in the sand this school year was 1 activity outside of school per season and 1 activity at the school’s after care. Naturally a big wave (called begging children) washed that sand away, and one kid has two after care activities that they love, one has two activities outside of school that they love, and there’s no time left for those swim lessons which I actually care about (that they don’t exactly love).

Registration Fee: $125 Cleats that only fit for a season: $25 Ball that they forget every practice: $15 Water bottle they loose at the second practice: $12 Instilling a lifelong hatred for organized sports: Priceless

Registration Fee: $125
Cleats that only fit for a season: $25
Ball that they forget every. single. practice.: $15
Water bottle they loose at the second game: $12
Relaxing in a lounge chair instead of entertaining your children for an hour: Priceless

I want my kids to be active, so picking up a sport seems like a smart idea. But at the same time, my children probably won’t be the world’s next greatest soccer players, so is there really any need to break the bank for all of this stuff? And of course it isn’t literally breaking the bank, if we couldn’t afford it we wouldn’t do it, but it still seems like we are spending a pretty big chunk of change on kid activities every month. However without activities, there is the slightly scary thought that I might (gasp!) be left home to entertain my own children.

How do you handle activities in your house? What have your kids tried and loved/tried and hated? Are there any activities you feel strongly about them participating in? What did you love (or hate) as a child? Talk to me on this Monday Morning!

A Pictures Worth 1,000 Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Who “they” are I am not entirely sure. In honor of National Foster Care Month, here are 5 of our favorite pictures from our foster care/adoption journey with a few words about what they mean (don’t worry – I’ll limit myself to much less than 1,000).

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1) I took this picture the day after Mariyah and James moved in with us. This was before camera phones. Before I was even well versed in digital cameras (I usually used film- ha!). But my family wanted to see a picture, so I thought I could figure out how to use Rob’s digital camera and then email a picture. I remember looking at the camera and wondering how in the world I was supposed to take a picture, I then remember looking through the lens at the kids and wondering how in the world I was supposed to parent. The picture came out okay. I think I’m doing okay with tht whol parenting thing too (most days anyway).

Bohn Family 20092) Our first family picture. This was while we were visiting my mom, after we had the kids about 6 months. It’s one of my favorite pictures ever because it’s literally the first photo of all of us together.

Church3) This picture always breaks my heart a little. They look gorgeous right? They are going on a visit with a family who might want to adopt them. 10 minutes after this was taken, my sweet 4 year old was looking through someone else’s window and crying as he watched me drive away. His little 4 year old mind had no idea what was going on, he just knew he didn’t like it. And obviously we got to keep them, but this picture breaks my heart a little at the memory that we almost didn’t.

ThanksgivingFeast

4) We were at James’s Thanksgiving feast when we got the call that our children’s birth mother’s rights were terminated and we would be the ones who got to adopt James and Mariyah. Those who have adopted through foster care know that the termination of parental rights is not exactly a joyous day. Our hearts break for our kids and their first families.

adoptioncourtdate

5) Our adoption day. This day man. Before our adoption was completed I loved seeing pictures of adoption days, but I never really realized what a huge day it was. For those with infertility its months or years of waiting for a child, and finally officially being a parent. For those who adopt through foster care its months or years of court dates, and the roller coaster ride that comes along with it. For those who adopt internationally its months or years of looking at a child’s face, and finally crossing oceans to hold them in your arms. It is the end of one chapter and the start of a new one.

An Open Letter to Open Toed Shoes

Sharing our feelings can be hard. But if we keep our emotions in, we suffer silently. I’ve been bottling this up since the summer of 2009, and I think it’s finally time I let it out. I’ve decided there is no other way than an open letter to open toed shoes.

An Open Letter to Open Toed Shoes

Dear Open Toed Shoes (including but not limited to Flip Flops, Sandals, Crocs and “Peepers”),

Hello my warm weather friends! The weather is heating up, so it’s time we meet again. My children have been requesting your presence both in their closet and on their feet ever since temperatures officially hit the 70’s a few weeks ago. And I understand, because I like you too (especially you Mr Flip Flop) but before you make your return this year there are a few things I’d like to talk about.

1) Your durability. It’s mediocre at best. I’ll take partial blame on this one for purchasing you from Target rather than LLBean. But still, I expect more than a weeks worth of wear, even on an elementary school boy.

2) Your mastery of the game hide and seek. Similar to the other shoes involved in my children’s life, you seem to be a pro at pulling disappearing acts. If I had a nickel for every time I found a “lost” shoe, I’d be sitting pretty next door to Bill Gates. However, when the other shoes hide, I usually find them under the bed. But you Mr Sandal, are known for your wild locations. You hide in the yard. You hide at summer camp. You hide at the neighbors house. We sometimes spend days looking for you only to have you turn up a week later at the swimming pool lost and found with no indication of how you got there. This never happens with Winter Boots, perhaps he can teach you a lesson or two about staying on a child’s feet while out in public.

3) Your smell. I try not to judge. Really, I try. But I did notice that when I first purchased you on that fine June day of 2014 you smelled rather similar to a new car. And that was nice. So why, just a week or two later, when I started smelling what can only be described as “cheese and vinegar cocktail” while watching TV late one night, was the smell traced back to your hiding spot under the couch? I’ll grant that part of the problem may indeed be a lack of personal hygiene on my children’s behalf, but I truly believe the greater culprit is the blistering heat coupled with your lack of a porous sole.

4) Your appearance with socks. I concede that socks may help with the little problem we talked about earlier. But they look silly. Next time one of my children tries to pair you with socks, would you back a lady up and tell my kids how ridiculous they make you feel instead of just sitting there silently? Thank you.

I hope you understand, that these points are not to criticize you personally but to help you grow as a shoe. I hope we can work together to make these changes, and I look forward to both your comfort and ease in the warm days ahead.

Sincerely,
Erin Bohn
Mother of 3 open toe appreciators