“Stop. You can’t. We’ve talked about this. There are at least two other pairs of sneakers you could be wearing right now — that you should be wearing — before you outgrow them.”
“But I like these sneakers.”
“I like them, too, but I can see your socks through them.” I had told him this the night before when he had his feet up on the console in between the front seats of the car. The bottoms were completely worn though on the sides.
“Put your feet down, honey, it’s safe to sit slouched down like that while I’m driving.” Truthfully, I wanted to put my elbow there, and I think his feet smelled kind of ripe.
This brought up the conversation again that he hates his turn in the middle.
“Then sit in the wayback.” That is always the option for the one whose turn it is in the middle.
“Why can’t I sit in the front?”
“You know why. Because you’re not old enough. You have to be 12. I mean 13.”
Thirteen is what the doctor told us when my son sought a second opinion to my edict last week when he was at his annual check up. The doctor had asked him if he had any questions, and my son glanced at me before he asked, “Am I old enough to sit in the front of the car?”
Then the doctor launched into an even better lecture than I could have delivered about if there’s a choice, the safest place is in the back seat — how he’d rather be in the back seat if there was an accident — and how he really shouldn’t plan to sit in the front seat until he was 13.”
“But my mom said…”
I cut him off. “Apparently Mommy was wrong!” And I smiled and thanked the doctor. I thought the age was 12, though I do imagine it has to do with size, so it’s likely my 8 year old will be eligible by the time he is 10 because he already outweighs my 10 year old by 25-30 pounds easily, and is taller.
Either way, I can enjoy another 2-3 years without them in the “grownup space.”
“You really need to throw those shoes out,” I continued.
He groaned and then literally threw the shoes at the trash can. One of them bounced off, but the other swooshed in, as the lid swung in circles and the trash can banged against the stove.
“Hmmm. Nice shot. Why don’t you wear your basketball sneakers? There’s no point in saving them for next year; I’m sure they’ll no longer fit by then.”
Momentarily, he emerged wearing the pristine sneakers, which had never been worn outside of the school gym. I wondered if he would purposely try to “dirty them up a bit,” since they were in such stark contrast to the familiar black ones.