As soon as we walked into Old Navy and I saw that there were no shopping carts, I knew it would be a short trip. It had already been a long day (note to self: Sophie’s still not ready to sit through a full-length feature film in the theater) and while I constantly battle the pros and cons of kid containment, frankly it would have been easier to shop for fall clothes for the girls with Sophie butt-down in a cart.
Instead, she had the run of the store — literally. And by the end, she also had some black feet. Somewhere along the way, Sophie removed her sparkly silver tennies and Cookie Monster socks (Annabelle dressed her that morning) to try on some flip flops. It took a while to find the shoes; the socks are gone forever.
We did find some fall separates (I then had to explain to Annabelle that while it is technically fall, she would not be comfortable in a sweater dress on a day expected to top 100 degrees) and a few clearance items (love Old Navy) and I documented a striking moment that wouldn’t have occurred if Sophie had been confined to the cart.
I’m not sure the photo will capture the poignancy, or if I can adequately explain it in words. My 5-year-old marched into the store and stopped smack in front of a mannequin in a striped sweater and too many accessories. She looked it up and down, then gently took its hand, and just stood there, looking around.
At first I thought, “Oh Sophie! How could you not know that thing is plastic! It doesn’t even have a head!”
Then I watched her face — and watched her approach each mannequin in the store, in turn, and stop to hold hands — and realized she knew exactly what was up.
She had a gleam in her eye — it was her own little performance; Sophie was exploring her world in her own Sophie way.
I’m glad there wasn’t a free cart at Old Navy that day.