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.
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!!!