Rowan as Carrie Bradshaw
Who would have imagined that we would travel to Dar es Salaam, where it is a bare foot or Birkenstocks only ex-pat world, for Rowan to develop her girl-requisite shoe obsession?
The objects of her absolute obsession are a pair of black patent leather shoes - cheap ones I bought at Target. They have a little heal, which makes them perfect for her fantasy to tap dance as well as Elmo (which she does very well... actually... I think with some training she might amount to something on the soft-shoe circuit).
In DC she put them on from time to time... and even insisted wearing them to the park occasionally. Here, they've become an absolute obsession. She wants to wear them to school. She wants to wear them to play outside. She wants to wear them around the house. She much prefers to wear them with her one-and-only pair of pink frilly socks - and well - they do look better with those socks than with the orange and white striped socks that she sometimes puts on with them. And she is so insistent, I've actually let her out of the house that way.
The shoes are now getting pretty grubby, being that it is the rainy season, but she doesn't seem to care. At first I happily indulged her in her quirky desires, but when she started insisting on wearing them to bed I started to push back. I tried to convince her that they were too "yucky" for bed. But I lost that battle... and for the past week she has been wearing them 24-hours a day. (Only when I pry them off for the bath, with Rowan kicking and screaming, do I get a chance to clean them up enough for bed.)
I think these shoes are Rowan's way of staying connected to home. They are the shoes I'd be happily letting her wear to the Adas Israel pre-school next year, if she weren't knee deep in the mud at the Little Beaumont School here in Dar. And so, I've decided to let RoRo have her shoes if they are what she needs to maintain her identity as a Jewish girl from DC. Carrie Bradshaw would approve of this parenting move... and that keeps me connected to home as a nice Jewish girl (I know Carrie wasn't) from NY!