Sometimes, our shoe choice is not the most fashionable but the most complete; as in there are two of them.

It was so hot, even the clouds were looking for shade. The air was as thick as a sponge, and my 3-year-old couldn't find her flip flops.

"Where did you see them last?" I asked.

She looked around the porch, "Well, I put them on, and now they are gone."

We were baffled. How do shoes just disappear from one's tan little feet?

It must be summer.

I looked through the shoe box and behind the chairs. I comically lifted the cat to make sure she wasn't sitting on it. My daughter laughed at the thought of the cat stealing her shoes. Then she told me she had taken them off outside.

I called for assistance from her older sister and explained the situation. "Yeah, she doesn't like to wear shoes," she replied in a heavy exhale.

We checked by the swings and the fairy garden. Then a thought occurred to her and she pointed to the neighbor's yard. Sure enough, two pink flip flops were melting in the sun.

"There they are!" she replied. "Right where I left them."

Finding shoes is a full time job in our home. Each time we prepare to leave the house, my wife and I retrace our girls' steps like detectives taking notes and reconstructing the scene. Sometimes, our shoe choice is not the most fashionable but the most complete; as in there are two of them.

My oldest daughter likes to fling them off as soon as she's inside the door. Before her sandal can even hit the ceiling fan, she is off into the house and on an adventure only a 6-year-old would understand. Usually, I make her come back and pick them up. I ignore my hypocrisy, but she doesn't. We both know I do the same thing.

One day she shrugged and said, "It's how I like to take them off."

I nodded. "I know, but you can't make a mess and expect someone else to clean it up."

"But you do it, too!" she added

"I do," I calmly replied. "But my aim is better."

Faintly from the other room we could hear my wife: "No, it's not!"

To be fair, I explained to everyone, the shoe box isn't regulation size.

My daughter put her hands on her hips and waited for a response. So I pulled a stack of parenting cards from my back pocket, sorted through them and pulled out the appropriate one. Then I read from it: "Well, it's my house. When you are grown up and have your own place, you can put your shoes wherever you want."

She rolled her eyes, and we agreed to clean up the shoes together.

Reach Dave at david.manley@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @DaveManley