You’ve all seen it. The toy hanging on the fence, the discarded snuggly lying on the pavement as you walk to work. I’d always found myself wondering about these left behind items- I’d look at it and hope that a family isn’t currently experiencing a moment of devastation and panic (and dealing with a screaming child) while they look for it.

Well last week that person was me. I lost one of her first shoes. Yep. FIRST SHOES. The sacred ones that you frame/ keep in a box/ present her with on her 18th birthday. Here’s my little tale of woe…. 

It was a lovely sunny day and we, sorry I (she’s only 15 months, I still just about call the shots!) decided that we would go and take a look at the Maidenhead Festival in town and check out the man-made beach. Its not often fun stuff like this comes to town so it seemed like a great mini adventure. (Which, by the way, you can read about here if you’re interested)

Anyway, I packed up the pushchair with a picnic for us both, remembered a blanket to sit on, bucket and spade, sun tan lotion, a hat and her shoes and socks in case she wanted to try walking while we were there. Its fair to say I was feeling was feeling rather smug with myself for remembering it all.

That is until we arrived in Kidwells Park and I went to unpack the blanket and bucket and spade, only to find that THERE WAS ONLY ONE SHOE. Urging myself to stay calm I thought back. Had I really put both shoes in? What about the bag? It must be here really? Years of practice of searching for lost phones and purses swiftly came into practice (Yep, I went through a stage of losing my purse every month at uni!). But it was all in vain. THERE WAS STILL ONLY ONE SHOE!

Now its worth sharing a bit of background here. You see my other half LOVES shoes. He has a trainer collection of classic Adidas and Nike trainers thats probably nearing 40 or so pairs. They’re all in fantastic condition and are waiting for an SJP style shoe closet when we finally get round to sorting out our bedroom. He totally out-shoes me. Fact. When we went to get her shoes fitted in Clarks and the lady asked which style I preferred  a deep voice from the back said “Well, obviously its these, I’ve had my eyes on these for weeks”. The Sales Assistant looked back at me, slightly bewildered… a Dad that loves shoe shopping?? Really??!

We like shoes in our house. We like shoe sales even more.

Anyway, back to the trauma. Knowing how much he loves shoes and his daughter it was pretty obvious that this was a VERY BAD THING. I decided the only solution was to go back to Clarks, buy an identical pair and then re-trace my steps exactly all the way back from the park and look for the shoe. If I didn’t find it I would just use the replacement pair instead and hope that he didn’t notice they were looking a bit newer than they should.

So off we went to Clarks, I can only chuckle when I look back at the scene, I rushed in waving the shoe like a deranged Prince Charming/ Cindarella wannabe. I need some shoes- like this one. EXACTLY like this one. I thought it would be simple, we’d just grab the new shoes and go, but no, they didn’t have the right width fitting so we had to try them on. Cue me looking at the little one sat in the pushchair only to realise that she did in fact have half of the man-made beach all over her which was promptly deposited all over the carpet in the shop. (Thanks for not minding, Clarks in Maidenhead!) But the shoes were fine, she did a little ‘new shoe dance’ (actually happened) (I think she’s going to take after him) I bought the shoes and we were on our way home.

At which point my other half rang: “what ya doing? Thought I’d pop over to the festival and join you?”. “Ummm”, I hesitated and then whoosh! It all came tumbling out, the whole story, tears and all. I’d be rubbish at Poker. 

Him being him, he offered to leave work there and then to help me look for the shoe in the park. Gotta love him for that. But instead we decided that I would walk home and look and then he would have a second look on the way home. 

By the time I got up the hill and was nearing Tesco I decided that whichever way the evening was going to go we would need wine so I nipped in and was about to buy 2 bottles of wine when the shop assistant said I would get a 5% discount if I bought 6. Still slightly in shock from the whole  afternoon I agreed and found myself then trying to fit 6 bottles into the pushchair, which is when I bumped into another mum and baby we know from Babybeeps. I spent the next few minutes trying to explain we’d lost a shoe, I wasn’t an alcoholic, you know how it goes. Probably a bit hyper by this stage. Awkward!

Anyway, I made it all the way back. but still NO SHOE. In a last ditch attempt I tweeted Maidenhead festival asking for lost property details. But really, I’d come to terms with it by now, it was just a shoe, she hasn’t even started walking yet so maybe they don’t really count…?

And then my other half came in. WITH THE SHOE! Yessss! He said he’d programmed himself to look for that colour all the way home and he’d found it on a wall, just round the corner from our house. Programmed to get a result. I told you, shoes are serious business to him.

Found: One lost shoe. Mummy : tearful. Daddy: Hero’s welcome.

So there you go, a happy ending. I hope that next time you see a little lost item you’ll think of this story and know that someone WILL be back for it so leave it in a nice safe obvious place! Oh and at least you now know that whilst the question of how many wine bottles can you fit into your pushchair is probably not the main criteria for choosing a buggy, it is a pretty good way of measuring the basket capacity!

Basket capacity on the Zoom. (not taken from the Mamas and Papas brochure!)