One shoe off and one shoe on

A couple of weeks ago we drove over to my parents’ for Sunday Supper. I got out of the car and opened Philip’s door. A shoe came flying out.

A similar thing happened this morning. My parents’ were out-of-town overnight, so Philip and I stopped by to check on their house and bring in their newspaper and mail. By the time I came around to get Philip out of his car seat, he already had pushed off one of his tennis shoes and was working on the other. At least both shoes stayed in the car this time. I finally got them back on so that we could go in the house, but he didn’t wait long after entering to remove his footwear.

Apparently, Philip associates going to his grandparents’ with taking off his shoes. I suppose this is to be expected since we usually ask him to do so when we visit. However, we prefer that he wear his shoes until his walks inside.

It was also two weeks ago that I encountered another shoe-related impulse. Philip and I were at the library for our weekly Saturday visit. I decided to take off his winter coat since I expected to be inside the library for a while. As soon as he got his coat off, he started to take off his shoes.

“No, Philip. Shoes stay on in the library.”

My words had no effect.

I pushed on one shoe, but Philip was already working on removing the other. We kept up this schtick with alternating feet until I finally gave up and let him take off both shoes. Then, I was able to sit him down and put them back on. He kept them on his feet.

Coat off? Then shoes come off, too.

Coat off? Then shoes come off, too.

I think that, rather than associating the removal of his shoes with a place, like Grandma’s house, in this situation he thinks that taking off his coat is a cue to take off shoes. That’s why the same thing has happened each successive week at the library. So, I have to let him temporarily become Shoeless Philip. I (probably vainly) tell him as I put slip them back on his feet, “Shoes stay on in the library.”

I’m stumped because I haven’t heard that he takes off his shoes at school when it is time to take off his coat. Maybe the pattern and routine there has been so well-defined that it breaks the association.

Linking up this post from the archives to this weekend’s Moonshine Grid because, a year later, Philip will still take off his shoes in public places. Over the past few weeks he has removed his shoes at the hardware store and at Denny’s.

8 thoughts on “One shoe off and one shoe on

  1. My oldest son, when he was little, took his shoes off at the wrong time all the time. One ended up out a car window, which we didn’t realize until much too late to do anything about it. With my youngest, the challenge is getting his shoes on! I can definitely relate to this one.

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  2. Is he with the teacher instead of with you when he doesn’t take them off at school? Maybe the pattern is when you take off his coat, he takes off his shoes?

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    1. I think that is a good point about associating shoes off with me. However, since I originally wrote this post, his teacher reported that he did try to take his shoes off a couple of times.
      It’s funny-he doesn’t always do it and sometimes it goes in spurts.

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  3. Such a curious thing. I wonder why sometimes, and not always – and why at Denny’s? Although a comfy booth kinda makes me want to take my shoes off ; ) When Philip does remove his shoes, does he do it immediately upon arrival, or does he just randomly take them off?

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