"OK," I said. "What kind do you want?"
"I want boy shoes," she said.
"Why do you want boy shoes?"
"Because the boys at school run faster than the girls," Kate answered, "so I figure it has to be the shoes."
There are about 10 million potential creativity lessons in that reply and my response. For example, I could have told her that she was being ridiculous -- that a boy's ability to run fast did not hinge on his shoes. However, making someone feel stupid is the world's fastest way to to squelch creativity. So, that would be wrong. Real wrong.
That leaves three immediate options:
- Gently explain that the idea is wonderful, but might not work. Buy girl shoes.
- Gently explain that the idea is wonderful, but might not work. Buy boy shoes anyway.
- Buy the boy shoes and let her run.