My son has a shoe fetish. I'm not concerned--not because I'm unconcerned about what other children will think about him, or how he'll grow up, or any of those reasons. I'm actually kind of proud of him and happy for the photo opportunities. He's 16 months and he has just learned that shoes can easily be placed on and taken off feet. He has even figured out that someone other than Mommy is capable of doing such a feat (no pun intended.) Consequently, he has been trying on anyone's shoes that happened to be left outside of the closet. He has not mastered and gets quite frustrated by Daddy's cowboy boots. Once his legs grow longer than the boots he might have a bit more success. He likes mommy's shoes ok, but he really has taken a shine to his big brother's. Little William is capable of placing one of big brother's shoes on his feet, and since they're not enormously big like clown shoes, can actually walk quite well in them. They even fit over his footed pj's. I looked down this morning and he had my right tennis shoe on his left foot and Ryan's right shoe on his right foot. I found my other tennis shoe under his crib, but Ryan's other shoe is still in hiding.
I always wonder if things like trying on shoes are developmental milestones. I remember things that my oldest did and wonder whether the youngest will do that too. And if so, how will his personality change the same actions? Even though the exploratory stages are repeated, it's far from being a Groundhog Day scenario. William gets a little bit more frustrated than his older brother did when he can't get a shoe on. But he's more determined, possibly because he wants to be like the rest of the shoe-wearing household. I'm proud of him for noticing those strange contraptions that go on the feet, and prouder still that he sometimes says "sssooes" to go along with it. Ryan rarely displays such interest in shoes other than his own anymore, which is fine as he was starting to do dangerous tricks like jump in my heels. He's on to bigger and newer things like wondering snow is and why his carved pumpkin turned mushy before it disappeared. So I'm enjoying watching the curiosity of a little one exploring his shoe world. Now to find Ryan's missing shoe. Oh yeah, and hide my high heels.