Saturday Spot: The Shoe Shelf…

I don’t know a shoemaker, and we don’t have any elves… and because of that we have to do an annual shoe shop. I don’t anticipate it with glee, in fact I don’t look forward to it at all. Se7en writhing individuals, se7en different heart’s desires and se7en different shoe sizes.


Now the battle commences when we get to the store… the father person is by nature “amiable in stores” and tends to engage with each child one on one in their own sweet time – this is a recipe for disaster because there are a number of other children roaming around unattended. So we leave him at home for shoe shopping. I tend to deal with them in a row… first kid, take your present shoes off, and try these on… and this is where I make my mistake. While my eyes are roving the shelves for shoes I can stand to have in my house, I start on the next kid while waiting for the first. Before I know it the row is gone and I am dealing with the whole event en masse and pandemonium breaks out. Everyone’s shoes off, nearly every shoe on the shelves off and no staff to help in sight. I realize as I write this exactly why!!!


The point is there are times to multi-task and there are times to be focused. Shoe shopping is focused!!! So note to self… Shoe shopping only works in a row, one at a time. It is quicker to do one on one and chat to those waiting in line. It is impossible to clear up pandemonium and buy shoes on the same day. What I do allow while waiting in line is for them to choose one pair of shoes they like and sit with them. Then all I have to do is find the size when I get to them.


Nice idea to keep a list of everybody’s shoe sizes with you at all times, but feet change – some of them even grow. Some never grow and wear the same old shoes month after month and year after year… others grow and grow and grow!!! You have to try them on – each and every shoe… Also they are individuals – I can’t just buy se7en of the same pair of shoes and be done… no se7en completely different shoes. Different shoes for different folks…


Or I thought they were individuals until all my boys quite unintentionally all chose these:


And it was these rusty ones that started the whole shopping spree event. Have you ever heard of rusty shoes? Neither have I, when I asked, as I stared down horrified at the shoes that were swinging on the pew next to me in church a couple of weeks back…:”Sweet child of mine, what on earth happened to your shoes?” And the sweet child replied “They rusted.” Don’t all shoes rust!!!


And replaced them with these… what was I thinking – like WHITE? but without them his heart would have broken and I can only be so tough before I think – PICK YOUR BATTLES.


So here we are everyone is shod…


Well almost everyone… because these sweet little feet don’t get shoes, just socks… and kangaroo socks seemed appropriate for the great Australia travels we went on.

DSC_0527 DSC_0688

Now I used to keep all our shoes in the dressing room, but I have a problem with muddy wet boots trailing through the bedroom to get to the dressing room… Especially since all my children have to have a quick bounce on my bed as they pass it by. So I was keeping them on the workbench at the front door… but I know it won’t be long before an unwelcome guest will wander past our front door in the dead of night (or broad daylight – it is South Africa after all) and remove our precious shoe haul… So the shoe pile has been lurking in the front hall… lurking, tripping and just annoying.


So I went for a hunt through the garage – I knew it was there and found the new shoe shelf. It needed a clean and a bit of a tidy up…


And I can breathe again.


And no it isn’t too small for all our shoes, I have said it before and I will say it again… We live in a culture that doesn’t really wear shoes, there are lots of local schools where kids wear no shoes or only for very special occasions – everyday shoes – not likely!!! My kids only really wear them for church on Sundays and even then there is a generalized grumble regarding this torture!!! So a pair of shoes per kid is more than adequate and some of them even have two pairs – we are indeed living the high life!!! (Though I do have one child that believes there should be at least one pair of shoes a day… wrong family my child!!!!)

And I notice that after a week of wear and tear “Mr Rusty Shoes” already has by far the most scuffs – What can I say!!!

12 Replies to “Saturday Spot: The Shoe Shelf…”

  1. Oooh, as a Mom-of-Many-Siblings, I hope you’ve marked the brown boots somehow, so you can tell whose are whose, without having to check sizes! Our additional rule is that no one can have the same shoes unless there’s a significant size difference- i.e. Mom can tell at a glance whose they are. Same goes for toothbrushes from the dentist- all kids must have different colors. The hygienists have all started coordinating, and have toothbrushes waiting for us when we arrive.

  2. I have a Mr Rusty Shoes kind of boy myself. It’s due to the scaling of walls and trees, using them to brake while on a bike . . . the list could be endless if one was willing to think too hard on it. Where do you do your shoe shopping? I have been bitterly dissapointed with Woolies and Ackermans over the last 2 years. Not many other places to go in the south of the Southern suburbs.

  3. Hi there Mamalion, I am so with you on color coding. We color code everything and have assigned socks – stripes for one, pictures for another, plain for another… But shoes are their department!!! They have to wear them, chase them up and tidy them up. I guess when they are little it would matter more but at this stage they seem to know whose is whose without a problem… One has boats for feet, one has really scuffed shoes – I hope they figure it out!!! Really I do, I never gave it a thought!!!

  4. Hi B, Shoe shopping in the Southern Suburbs… I seriously battle to find shoes either they are really expensive for ordinary shoes, or they are cheap and nasty… and not everyone wants Barbie or Spiderman on their shoes. I sometimes shop at Jordan’s Footware in Tokai, I sometimes resort to Edgars but often can’t find enough of a range… a variety of shoes in a number of sizes. Pep stores is quite good for very fast growing little feet. Sorry I am not a big help with this – I only do it once a year and I would do it less often if I could get away with it!!!

  5. I didn’t know about the “shoeless” thing! That’s so interesting. I wish our kids only wore shoes on Sundays!!! I have a MAJOR problem keeping track of shoes around here… I can be ready to —go easy as pie— but finding the shoes is always a task. You know I’m glad to see a line up of the shoes. :):):) I think you should try WEE squeeks for number 8—

  6. Hi KM, What a week for blogging – not!!! Yup in this part of the world kids really run “free-footed.” I have only one that likes to wear shoes, he obviously sees it as an extension of his “dressing-up” personality!!! I am going to google we squeaks right now, I am sure if you recommend them they are going to be very cute!!! Hope you guys have a great week!!!

  7. Luv this one – I just took three boys shoe shopping (7/5 /2) I dread this twice a year trip! Luv your experinces – its mine – just amplified a little. keep it coming.

  8. Oh Farhana, I sympathize!!! But good for you on a job well done!!! The nicest thing about shoe shopping is when it’s over!!! Hope you have a fun weekend!!!

  9. Hi there!
    *fellow South African here*
    So good to find South Africans in blogland! 🙂
    It’s true though, we never wore shoes much in SA. And here in Italy, when we meet up with other expats from SA you can tell who is the Italian and who is the S.African spouse… one is walking kaalvoet on the grass and taking the kids shoes off and the other has shoes on and shouting at the kids to put theirs on too LOL… it’s quite funny!

    Glad to have found your blog! You homeschool too? Coolness!! I hope to homeschool my kids one day.

  10. Hay Nemo, How nice to meet you!!! Amazing that you live in Italy – hmmm great food, great countryside, great people, great history, just lovely… the father person and I spent a couple of weeks there before we had kids… I always dreamt of going to Italy and in my final year at varsity my Italian lecturer offered us her apartment – no turning back!!! Totally loved it!!!

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