That’s right. I’m writing about feet. The biggest baby feet the world has ever known. Possibly.
I’ve been told that when I was little I had “hamburger feet.” My dad described them as being as wide as they were long, like a hamburger patty. Obviously, my feet weren’t fat by the time my parents were reminiscing about chubby baby appendages and so I had no way to contextualize how huge my toddler tootsies really were.
Until The Duchess came along. To me, her feet have always just been her feet. To other people, her feet have been the chunkiest little pads they have ever laid their eyes on.
This was verified today when trying to get The Duchess sized and fitted for her first set of proper shoes at Clarks. The sales assistant, the helpful but also strangely stolid Sharon, measured the width of The Duchess’s feet and her eyes widened. “She measures a 3 1/2 and, Cor, a very wide H.” I could see the tool stretching over her feet and although Sharon assured me there was no measurement wider than H, it seemed that The Duchess’s feet were being pinched into this “very wide” measurement.
She told us that our options would be limited because of her width measurement and she pointed at our vast selection in the store – 3 pairs of shoes. One by one, Sharon brought the shoes out. Some of the shoes weren’t in stock in an H or still didn’t fit, so she tried to up the shoe a half size to give The Duchess more room. Now she looked like she had clown feet and they were still too tight. We tried on no less than 6 pairs of shoes, at which point one of Shaz’s work colleagues came over and said, “Can I help? What size is she?”
Sharon looked at her co-worker and said intentionally and with unbroken eye contact, “She’s an H.” Their looks suggested that something unspoken had passed between them – as though size H was the stuff of baby folklore. The Native and I started to chuckle about her chubby little feet. Sharon stared at us.
“I have never had such a hard time fitting a child for a shoe.”
“How many shoes have you fitted?” I ask.
Unblinking, Sharon replies, “A lot.”
And so we’ve ordered two pairs of shoes that will be in towards the end of next week – a 3.5 H and 4H in the same shoe. They are also in the neutral colour of fuschia. We like the shoes, I’m just not so sure her red trousers will. We don’t even know if they will fit anyway. If not, I suppose the little poppet may just have to be that hippie barefoot baby toddling around town.
Are The Duchess’s feet really the stuff of baby folklore? Is she destined to be shoeless forever?