Just call me McGyver

We’ve been experiencing an unusually cold winter in the ROC.

Wait, stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

The snow amounts, on the other hand, have pretty much been status quo – which is to say a lot. Like, we’re gonna reach our usual 100″ a lot. We live around the corner from our elementary school, so close, in fact, that Ella and Annie walk to and from school each day. A little while ago, I noticed that the snow was so deep, it was standing well past the top of Ella’s boots, meaning that she was arriving at school looking like she’d accidentally walked past a snow-making spigot at a ski hill.

She miiiight also have deliberately sashayed through some higher banks just for effect, but nonetheless: white-out. Or, as my long-ago kindergarten buddy who lives in Stockholm called them, “Swedish legs.”

A few days later, Ella began complaining that the inside of her boots was wet. I chalked this up to tromping through a couple of feet snow each day, plus recess, and threw her boots in the dryer. (I’m probably not supposed to do this, but I was in a hurry and also kind of desperate; when your kid is getting hives on her feet after walking home from school, you might embrace the dryer, too. And some Pinot, but that wasn’t making the shoes any less wet.) It took more than one cycle, but at last the inside of her boots felt dry, so I set them out overnight and off she went in the morning.

After school, she declared that her feet felt wet all the way to school. I chided her – she must have been mistaken. They might have felt cold, but I’d double-checked them the night before and they were dry, dry, dry. Unless someone had accidentally poured the Pinot in them, it was simply impossible that they were wet before she even got to school.

They were, however, good and wet by the time she was home from school – not just a little damp, but wring-it-out wet. Was snow sliding down into her boots while she played? Did she take them off at recess and dump water inside? Why on earth were they so damn wet? She turned down all of my suggestions, and so I, once again, set about drying her boots that night, even going so far as to Google ideas on “how to dry wet boots.” After removing the inner liners, stuffing her boots with newspaper three times over (the newsprint absorbs dampness; who knew?) and running them, again, through the dryer more than once, I was certain – absolutely positive – that they were DRY.

But the next afternoon, you guessed it… Wet. Soaked. And she hadn’t even gone outside for recess that day. Completely stumped, I asked her to take off her boots so I could examine them – for what, I wasn’t sure, but I was sure that something wasn’t right.

Upon looking them over, I discovered this:

Um, yeah. So maaaaaybe that’s why the shoes were a little… leaky.

Miraculously, we had some spare time that afternoon, so we rushed out to four (yes, FOUR) shoe and department stores… but nope. No dice. Either they were all sold out (’cause, you know, it’s the middle of winter, and most people already have boots) or they were super-uncomfortablre, an unfortunate side effect of Ella’s broken foot. I might have been able to order some online, but they wouldn’t appear instantaneously, nor could we be guaranteed that they’d fit. Our best best was to find another time when we could shop in person for shoes… which meant that Ella needed to continue wearing the ones with the four-inch holes in the heels.

(Side note: I did suggest that she wear several pairs of socks and some rain boots, but she would have none of that. Apparently, ’tis better to have freezing, wet, hive-y feet than to wear rain boots to school in the dead of winter. Or something.)

Because I couldn’t just send her to school like that – with gaping holes in her boots – I decided that I would do something to help. I do have a (small) crafty side, and I’ve got a great relationship with Gorilla Glue… and so, ten minutes later, BAM! Problem solved!

Eat your heart out, MacGyver:
Why, yes, there are two layers of Gorilla Glue and Superglue on each shoe, as well as three layers of silver duct tape. Of course I let them dry overnight – what do you think I am, stupid?

I’d been fairly convinced that Ella would see these monstrosities beauties and decide that rain boots made a lot more sense, thanks very much… But no, she was quite excited to wear her patched-up boots to school. I crossed my fingers all day long (not really, ’cause that would be really awkward) hoping that she wouldn’t come home with soaking wet feet AND ugly, taped-together shoes… And, amazingly, she she got home, she informed me that they’d stayed dry all day long.


Our afternoon and evening were booked solid that day, but by the following afternoon, I decided that the taped-up boots weren’t really cutting it anymore, and so while Annie was at chess club, Ella and I booked it over to L.L. Bean. I usually shy away from buying the girls “good” winter boots because I know that they’re just going to outgrow them in, like, five minutes, but in this case, I was willing to purchase almost anything so long as they fit and didn’t, you know, have holes in them.

Plus also, perhaps the least expensive boots are prone to the heels falling apart. Hm.

On the first try, Ella found a pair that not only fit, but that she liked (AMEN), and we were out of there in five minutes flat.

An added bonus to her new boots is that they come up higher than the old ones, so her Swedish legs are a thing of the past.

Which is probably good, because it sure as hell doesn’t look like winter’s ending any time soon.

Have I mentioned that yet?

1 thought on “Just call me McGyver

  1. Pingback: STOP. THE. MADNESS. !! | All Together in a Scattered Sort of Way

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