Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Being a good mum - Part 2: School shoes

Now, whereas I do try to keep up with the good mother's when it comes to packed lunches , I am unable to do so with school shoes. Good mums buy their kids expensive leather shoes each September.  But for me it goes against the grain. I can't do it. When it comes to school shoes, I am a bad mum. These are the shoes Eldest K will be wearing next Wednesday when (hallelujah) she goes back to school to start the new academic year...

Observant readers will notice two things:
1.  I have not bought her new shoes
2. These are pleather shoes (as plastic or patent leather is known in our house)

Firstly I'd like to let everyone in on a little secret - school shoes are available to buy ALL YEAR ROUND!  Its not necessary to buy them only in a feeding frenzy in time for September. (And as a side note - why does the school uniform buying frenzy happen in June?  They won't fit by September!). What do the good mums do if their child has a growth spurt in March?  Do they buy more expensive new shoes?  Or do they make their child cram their feet into the same ones for the rest of the academic year? If that is the case, I can't help but wonder if good mums are secretly bad mums after all.  Middle K outgrows her school shoes about once every 9 months.  I replace them when they no longer fit.  Those ones still fit.  Therefore the Year 2 shoes have graduated and will be entering Year 3 - along with the school bag that has been hanging around since Reception and will only be replaced if it breaks and the lunch box that has been with us since the previous one got lost, so perhaps 3 months.

Secondly  they are indeed fake leather, bought for the pricely sum of £9 from a less-than-fancy high street shoe shop that specialises in those boots that look like slippers and plastic ballet pumps.  They are not leather ones with an ergonomic sole from the other high street chain that cost £35. And they are certainly not the ones with replaceable sparkly straps that cost £46 and are advertised incessantly at this time of year on a certain children's television channel.  Because she is 7 - okay!  She will scuff them, jump in puddles in them, quite possibly lose at least one of them, and grow out of them long before the cheap Chinese ones wear through on the sole or go thin at the big toe.  I know proper leather ones are indestructible, but unfortunately children's feet wait for no shoe (or the start of the academic year for that matter). And whats more she hardly gives her shoes that much of a work out. She does not walk 5 miles to school through the snow and rain.  She does not spend long hours standing to attention in assembly.  She sits on a chair and sits on a carpet.  Even at playtime the shoes skive off as she is usually upside down on the jungle gym or doing a handstand. I'll be better served buying her a really decent pair of cycling shorts to wear under her dress...

Nope - I'll buy her decent shoes when her feet stop growing and the shoes have the remotest chance of lasting more than one academic year.  I mean what 16 year old doesn't want school shoes with inter-changeable sequined straps?


  1. I thank the lord that I have a boy every time I hear the Lelli Kelly (or however you spell it) advert. If the girls on that advert had gone to my primary school they'd have beaten me up every morning before the bell went. Praise be for a sensible mum! (that's you BTW)

  2. I bought leather shoes for M because I am the queen of finding bargains. I got her shoes for £15 or so. Yes they were a bit big and the shop lady glared at me in disbelief but hey, it's not like they were falling off of Emma. They were just a size bigger. I bought them last year. Just yesterday I spent $4 on some polish, a brush and a soft cloth. Two hours later (travel time included) M has shiny like new look shoes. They'll last her until I find another sweet deal. Oh, I buy next year's clothes this year. End of summer sale 2011 = 2012 summer clothes. Can't beat $5 Tshirts or $10 jeans + 20% off coupon. Capitalism at its finest :)