But the shoes. The tiny shoes.
For years I've been stumbling over my children's first shoes, which kicked around the house idly waiting for something to happen.
Anyone who has what is known in the trade as a 'neurologically typical' child may be looking at the above shoes and thinking, "What cute shoes! Like miniature Doc Martens!" And it's true - in retrospect, they are pretty cool. But if you have a special needs child you may well be sighing. Another pair of Piedro boots. Pair after pair, all the same design.
(At least when Eldest was small and the NHS provided Piedros, I didn't have to tramp around the High Street trying vainly to wedge her unyielding, bulky plastic splints into shoe after shoe. Since her initial diagnosis, I have never really shed a tear in a doctor's surgery. I do, however, weep quite openly in a number of shoe shops.)
Below are Littlest's first shoes. Clarks. My mother jumped on her chance to go into town and buy these one day when I was feeling unwell. I could tell that she felt was Littlest was cruelly ignored, running round like an urchin in her socks. Perhaps she thought we were too traumatised by shoe shops to enter if we didn't absolutely have to.
Anyway. Somewhere we have a polaroid of a confused child in leggings and a massive nappy standing in a shoe shop, surrounded by a cutesy cardboard frame entitled "MY FIRST SHOES'.
You know what you do when something has been kicking around the house for too long? You glue it to a board and stick it on the wall. This is a genius idea. On the floor right now I can see a denim jacket, a sock and an empty packet of chocolate buttons. I can see our walls becoming a LOT more interesting.