In an interesting turn of life events, Max now has two different size feet. As in, two whole sizes. Left, 4&1/2, right, 2&1/2. This, I know now, is not uncommon with children who have cerebral palsy. Because they don't already have enough to deal with and neither do their parents.
First, Max got new orthotics, purple. Then I had to find shoes to fit. Max has long worn Hatchbacks. I called the company and a rep said they might be able to sell me samples in two sizes, except it turns out they don't even make shoes for big kids.
Nordstrom is known for its customer service, and for being willing to sell two shoes in different sizes (and only charging for one pair). I took Max in for a fitting. The staffer helping us said we needed an Extra Extra Wide pair of sneakers, then clicked around on her phone and could not find a manufacturer that had them. Max had been amazingly patient but after twenty minutes, he wanted out. I didn't blame him. Who wants to sit around in a shoe department?
The woman said she'd call to follow up, and didn't. I got in touch with the store manager. The shoe department manager called, and told me she would get in some sneakers. When I asked if they would be extra extra wide, she didn't know what I was talking about, which is when I
ripped my hair out suggested she speak with the woman who had measured Max's foot. Then I got off the phone and shouted into a pillow. (Vastly cheaper than therapy.) (Although what kind of therapy exists for parents of kids with different size feet?) (Please, God, don't let him ever let him like Ferragamos.)
I told my friend Peggy what was going on. "It's never easy, is it?" she said. Some days, it definitely feels that way.
In the end, it was New Balance to the rescue, model 990v3. Turns out Max only needs an Extra Wide. I took out the soles, and the orthotics easily fit in.
Next up, the fun part: Giving away the sneaks Max didn't need. Options include The National Odd Shoe Exchange and the CHASA Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy Shoe Exchange on Facebook, where you find postings like this:
I posted, parents responded, I shipped the sneakers out. It felt good. If Max is going to have two different size feet, at least he can have sole mates to share them with.