All of this sounds way too familiar to me. I guess Sweetpea may have inherited something more than blue eyes from me! I still struggle to find shoes that fit properly (uh-huh, high instep).
But all this talk of feet and shoes reminds me of my dad. When I was a child my Dad held firmly to two closely related opinions: 1) a child must wear very good shoes to avoid foot problems later in life, and 2) saddle shoes were the only very good shoes for children.
I would beg my dad to let me wear something other than saddle shoes, and he'd say, "We'll see." But when we got to the shoe store, he'd ask the shoe fitter (making sure I was listening), "Now, what do you recommend as the best shoes for a child's feet?" And I would cringe, because, as if there was some huge conspiracy, every shoe fitter would reply, "Saddle shoes."
So, I was left with choosing between black-and-white saddle shoes, brown-and-white saddle shoes, all white saddle shoes, all black saddle shoes (sometimes they came in suede) or, for a brief period in the '50s, pink-and-white saddle shoes.
Not only did the shoes have to be saddle shoes, but they had to fit perfectly, according to my dad's healthy-foot theory . . . which led, ironically, to the grand finale of the shoe-shopping process - sticking my feet into the shoe-fitting x-ray device!
You don't know about these machines? You can read about them here.
[In truth, I only remember doing the shoe-fitting x-ray device a time or two, thank goodness! They weren't that common by the time I was of school age. Not sure if I was exposed to them in my earlier years, as a baby or toddler. . . Maybe I don't really want to know.]