‘Squinky-Squinky-Squinky! Squink! Squink!’

posted in: Day In The Life, Travel 11
Probably not a squeaker, but oh-so-lovely. “Child’s shoe used [in China] by aristocratic families, with wooden sole and embroidered upper, ca. 2013.” Image: Wikipedia.


I’m at the airport because I cannot stay put. Also, people are expecting me. Also, I love it.

Also, there is something wonderful happening here.

There is a child in this airport. This child is wearing squeaky shoes.

The child wearing squeaky shoes appears to be around 18 months old and his shoes are very, very squeaky. They’re not just squeaky because they’re made of rubber and he’s running up and down the terminal, wearing himself out, squeaking by association. Rather, both of this child’s shoes were specifically manufactured to contain a squeaking apparatus, one buried deep inside each shoe, a miniature plastic bladder designed — nay, engineered — to produce a remarkably loud, extremely adorable “squink” sound with every single footfall.

And you should know: This child is a born runner. Stand back XXX. Hang it up, XXX. This child with squeaky shoes is smoking you all right now, running for his life, up and down, up and down, up and down Chicago Midway Airport, his beleagured mother, having surrendered long ago, deaf to the squinkysquinkysquinkysquinkysquinkysquinkysquinky sounds produced by the fruit of her loins. You cannot believe how loud the squinking is and you cannot believe how much this kid loves the squinking. He is so happy.

As a result, everyone in this airport is happy on account of this child. Here at gate B23, we can hear the child coming all the way from B19, the squinking getting louder and louder as he approaches. We’re all grinning, waiting for him to show. And then we keep smiling and laughing into our hands and when he keeps on trucking past us, headed for B26, the squinking fading away as he goes.

It’s been a rough night, flight-wise. I tried to fly out earlier, couldn’t. My flight now is delayed 30 minutes. But the squink, man. The squink will save us all.

11 Responses

  1. Judy Hart
    | Reply

    By the time that child boards, he’ll be tuckered, smart parents!

  2. Judy Forkner
    | Reply

    Everyone will be tuckered! Nap time, everyone!

  3. Jen
    | Reply

    Oh, I wanted these Hello Kitty flip flops with squeakers in them sooooo bad when I was a kid! My parents refused to buy them. They did say I could save up my allowance for them though.
    I got 25 cents a week allowance. Out of this, I was expected to buy birthday and Christmas presents for my parents and brother. That’s $13 per year to buy 6 gifts, folks! I saved, and I got allowance increases, but by the time I had enough money to buy the shoes, my hapa haole (Google it) feet were too big for Asian sizing. I was heartbroken!

    In retrospect, however, I can understand why my parents wouldn’t have bought them! They’d drive you bonkers! But if they can wear a kid out before a flight, well, it’s worth it.

  4. Loreen
    | Reply

    OH! I saw (heard) a child wearing those a few weeks ago, and I thought, “Oh to be a parent again, I would buy those shoes!” No. It’s better to adore them from afar.

  5. Liz Flaherty
    | Reply

    I love this! Have a good adventure wherever you’re flying to.

  6. Melanie
    | Reply

    What a great way to look at something that some would find annoying. Also, it’s like tags on a dog’s collar. If it’s your dog, you find the noise comforting as you know exactly where your dog is moving about as long as you can hear the tags jingling. If the noise (tags jingling or squinky shoes) stops, you better go see why. Could mean they found a way to entertain themselves that may not be constructive. Grin.

  7. Jan
    | Reply

    Thank you, Mary. Something that could be annoying has been turned into a delight. I love “sound” words. You are very good with them. Your readers are sitting in an airport with you, right now, watching a happy child with squinky shoes, and anticipating it get closer. Hugs from Sacramento.

  8. Becky Garten
    | Reply

    I love your use of the work “nay”. Nay is a terribly underutilized word.

  9. Mary M
    | Reply

    The weather over the past few days has caused many flight delays, so there is plenty of opportunity to watch the little ones exploring the terminal. Yesterday evening I was waiting to board a Southwest Airlines flight that had a lot of babies in line to board. We were boarding at the very last, and I said to my husband, “I’m going to sit with those twin boys and their parents”. And as it happened, it was the only seat left! My advice? Choose the row with the children. That way you get to see those sweet faces the whole flight, and you can see how hard their parents are working to keep it all together. Hats off to anyone raising a child! (And hang on!)

  10. Betty Elliott
    | Reply

    My grand-niece has a pair of those! I think her grandmother (my sister-in-law) bought them for her. They are fun!

  11. Sarah Pegg
    | Reply

    A lovely article. Thank you for sharing.

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