Imagine this scenario. You are working on your laptop or in your kitchen on perfecting a recipe. You are a picture of concentration and focus. There is Zen like atmosphere around you. You are calmly forging ahead on your path. But then the very silence that was helping you work dedicatedly gives you shivers. You remember that for the last five minutes maybe seven, you haven’t heard your baby. Yes, you have also come out from Zen-o-sphere and remembered that you are a parent. If you actually have baby/ babies you will know where I am getting, but for the uninitiated, let me tell you that no sound from an active, awake baby for more than a couple of minutes is a sure sign of trouble.
In times like this, I think, mothers from all over the world are grateful to the fellow who invented the squeaky shoes. The ones that go chooon choooon and chooooon. These are the shoes that look so pretty and are lightweight but have real ammo- the sound, the alarm bell.
Those shoes, my friend, are real life savers in babydom. With time you learn to distinguish the sounds they emit when they are dry (read baby is safe) or wet (you forgot to close the door to the washroom). You can gauze what room is the baby in, by estimating from how loud or low is the ‘chooon’.
I have a feeling that they were basically invented to pique the kids’ interest so that they would get off the floor after having crawled and scooted; and graduate to the next level that is learning to walk. I don’t know if the said inventor then realised what boon it is for the parents who tune themselves to the sound of those shoes and carry on with their day’s activities. They come in particularly handy in a nuclear family set up where it’s just the mom (and once in a blue moon, the dad), who has more than a couple of chores to look after.
The sound at times can get to you if the baby in question doesn’t want to take her shoes off even after calling it a day or has learnt the pressure point to just make the shoe squeak. My very own cherub would repeatedly beat it on the floor to hear ‘that’ sound.
But like I said, though you may find it annoying, its usefulness can win the day!
(This articled appeared first, with edits, in The Indian Trumpet magazine in its SHOE special edition.)