Well, it's that time of year again, when kids' feet are suddenly too big for their shoes from last winter. With the cooler weather making visits lately, my girls have discovered that all the cute shoes we bought last fall are now squishing their feet like Cinderella's stepsisters'.
"I don't have any shoes, Mom," is all I hear these days.
"What about your black slip ons?" "What about the cute, brown flats?" I continue to ask as I see dollar signs swirling through my head at the thought of ALL the shoes we bought the three girls last year and now will have to buy again.
I shouldn't be mad at the fact that my girls are growing healthy and strong, but I'm sort of irritated that I can't get more than one season of shoes out of them. Shoes aren't like clothes, either. You can't buy a size too big and make it work a couple of years. Shoes obviously have to fit or they'll just be sitting collecting dust in the closet. They're also expensive, especially if you buy the kind that will last. Since we pass down shoes from girl to girl, I try to make sure I buy ones that will make it through a couple of kids before they fall apart.
Another thing is, if I had all boys, shoe buying would be so much easier ... a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of dress shoes. Done!
Two pairs of new shoes each season, per kid. However, with three girls, you have dress shoes and casual shoes, both in multiple colors, tennis shoes, boots of different shapes and styles, and sometimes a whole other category of just "cute" shoes which are shoes that are trendy and fun but aren't really practical. And this is per season! In the summer you have to add several pairs of flip flops and sandals to the mix. It's really out of control, I tell ya!
So off to the shoe store we went this last weekend. We were in the big city visiting family, so I figured we better capitalize on the situation since I had all three girls with me and everyone needed so many shoes. I brought my 3-year old niece along with us.
She's a little fashion diva, so we figured shoe shopping would be right up her alley. I was excited at the thought of putting an end to the feet pain complaints and have some choices for the girls before winter really hits.
We pulled up in front of the shoe store; all the girls ecstatic and geared up to try on lots of shoes. However, our eagerly anticipated shopping extravaganza began with a crash! I opened the back door and my poor little niece somehow, fell out of the car seat, face first right onto the parking lot pavement. From the backseat of my truck, I'm guessing she fell at least 2½ feet. All the smiling faces and goofing around came to a screeching halt at the sight of her scratched and bloodied face. I felt SO bad and wished I could have rewound that last moment and got to her car seat faster so she wouldn't have fallen. I cradled and kissed her til she calmed down, and then checked to make sure she didn't knock a tooth out. That would have been a great one, to call and tell my brother and sister-in-law, that, not only did I just throw their sweet baby out onto the concrete, but busted her little teeth out as well. Thank goodness, she was fine, just little swollen lip and a scratched up nose. I told her Auntie Jen would buy her a new pair of shoes and that perked her right up, bringing that excited smile back she had only minutes ago.
Ok, a few deep breaths and off we all went into the store. My happy shoe shopping mood was pretty shot by that time, \so the overly friendly and smiley saleslady that greeted us was more of an annoyance that she normally would have been.
I don't know if she witnessed the tumble-out-of-the-truck chaos and she was trying to make me feel better, or was she usually this cheery?
Whatever. I refocused the goal of the shopping trip and ordered the big girls to their size aisle and just find two pairs of shoes, one brown and one black. I took the little girls and headed to their aisle to find the same. Of course, out of guilt, I let my niece try on whatever she wanted and she picked out a pair of non-practical shoes she fell in love with.
The shopping trip continued to fall apart as time went on. The 4-year-old hated all the shoes I picked out and due to the lack of a nap, bawled hysterically when I told she wasn't getting the high-heeled, rhine stone- covered sandals. She spent most of her time trying on shoes that there was no way in high heaven I was forking out money for. Because she was causing such a ridiculous scene every time I said no, I finally caved and bought her some knock-off brand tennis shoes that will probably fall apart in a week, just to shut her up. A definite parenting No No!
The 11-year-old pouted that they didn't have anything she liked her size, though she had a choice of about 128 pairs of black and brown shoes her aisle. I sent her back three times to, "Look again and find a pair of black and a pair of brown shoes that fit, that you don't hate."
She shrugged off, moping up and down the aisles trying on nothing. The 9-year-old fell in love with the most expensive kids' boots in the store right off the bat and then spent the rest of the time mad and pouting that they didn't have the silver flats in her size. She was determined to buy the wrong size just to have those dumb silver shoes and was pretty annoyed when I refused to buy them.
The excessively jolly saleslady kept popping in during all this fun I was having and asked numerous times, "How we all ---? Can I measure anyone's feet for ya? Just holler if you need me!" I told her the first two times she asked that we were fine but yet she kept coming back. I know it's her job, but for crying out loud, LEAVE ME ALONE! My patience was about run out as it was and I didn't need her perky interruptions.
My objective by the end of the shopping experience was just to get ANY pair of black and brown shoes, whether they fit or not, as long as the girls didn't gag at the sight of them. I decided they could wear them around the house when we got home, determine if they fit, decide if they like them, then keep 'em or take 'em back later. Whatever I had to do, just to leave.
I decided that next time I better take the girls one-on-one shoe shopping, not bring extra kids, and not go during nap time, because shoe shopping is supposed to be fun and this was certainly NOT!