In town with the boys, I look at my oldest son's feet. 'Your trainers look very tight. Aren't they uncomfortable? We're walking past the sports shop in a moment - shall we go in?'
He shakes his head. 'No, don't worry. They're fine.'
'Are you sure? They really look as if they pinch.'
'No, Mum. They're really OK.'
I give up, and then happen to glance down at Boy #2's feet. 'Your trainers look tight, too. Should we get you some new ones?
Boy #2 tuts. 'Mum. They're fine. Don't worry about it.'
Two days later, on holiday in the middle of nowhere, we walk down a hill. Well, I walk Boy #2 runs. When we get to the bottom...
'You were quick.'
'I know. I had to run - my shoes were pinching.'
Wait - what? 'But you told me they were fine!'
'They are - unless I'm walking downhill.'
'Well, that's it. We're going to get you new ones - though not until next week. There's nowhere here to buy any.'
Boy #1, who has been standing quietly by, pipes up. 'Actually - can I get new trainers too? Mine are a bit uncomfortable, now I think about it.'
Give me strength.