Generally speaking, our girls seem to have pretty different personalities. Rose is all girl. She’s the forever-princess, constantly in her dress-up clothes with countless bows in her hair, begging for nailpolish or lip-gloss or anything frilly or sparkly. Grace, on the other hand, is the kind of kid who laughs when she bangs her head or burps or makes noise filling her drawers. She’s the one who at 18 months will bully her big sister with bites and a firm backhand when she doesn’t get her way, and would prefer sporting her diaper alone above any other item of clothing, sparkly or not.
However, it seems that our Rose has started to influence our little Grace, because it has become quite clear that Grace is developing a shoe fetish.
First of all, of all of her emerging new words, "shoe" is the only one that she’s mastered in BOTH Chinese and English. And not only does she know the words, but she voices them constantly. On more than one occasion I’ve watched her wake up in the morning, raise her drowsy head and murmur, "xiezi?" while scanning the room for her shoe rack. And she carries her love of shoes right to the end of the day. Mark told me that when he put her to bed the other night she just kept repeating, "xiezi? xiezi? xiezi?" until she finally drifted off to sleep. During the day she’ll sit happily by her shoe rack trying on different pairs, begging to have them tied and untied, placed on different feet, etc. If I’m holding her and she spots a random shoe on the floor that I fail to pick up and give her, she’ll sob as if I’ve broken her heart. And last night when I went through summer stuff and found a pair of hand-me-down pink sandals, Grace had them on in a flash and just marched around the room smiling at her feet, quite pleased.
Last week, as I was putting her down for her nap, parting with her shoes was just too much for her to bear. Having compassion on this little shoe-loving soul, I placed a few shoes in the corner of her crib for companionship as she went to sleep. Here are two pictures of Grace napping with her new love.