How not to buy school shoes, in 101* steps

August 4, 2016

Boscombe Beach and pier, Bournemouth

While already out shopping, decide to get ahead of the game, for once, by buying school shoes early. Ahaha! What a brilliant idea. Inspired. School shoe shopping, with two children in tow and only one of me. What could *possibly* go wrong? (Footnote: this, or possibly thisGo forward one step.

Approach shoe shop with an overwhelming sense of optimism, coupled with a growing sense of trepidation…Inch gingerly forward half a step.

Lift doors open on the children’s floor…and it’s completely empty – yesss! Take a ticket and the number is called immediately. Go forward five smug steps.

Forgot socks – rookie error! Go back five steps.

Decide to get the toddlers feet measured too. Great plan until she turns into a flappy, shoe-refusing, snake-footed wailing octopus. Shoe assistant, who is in training, makes a look that says ‘I am never having children.’ Go back ten tiny toddler steps.

Try and survey the school shoe display while simultaneously chasing toddler round shop and replacing the hundreds of displaced display shoes she leaves in her wake. Go back ten steps.

Find lots of styles the pre-schooler actually likes. Keep toddler occupied with trying on a series of big shoes. Hurrah! Take a giant leap towards the sign in the distance marked ‘primary school.’

Send the assistant off to the shoe cupboard saying ‘Anything as long as they’re not patent please, not for school shoes!’ Recognise that voice is that of your mother (hi mum) Take one step back and fall into a pit marked ‘inevitable.’

Try not to make a face when shoe shop assistant returns with the only three pairs in your daughter’s size, two, predictably, in patent. Stand still, on the spot.

Pre-schooler instantly falls in love with the one pair of suitable school shoes and must have them now, please, now, but the first assistant has called his colleague over and they are taking forever to decide on the fit. In the meantime it all goes downhill quickly – the shop is now rammed, it’s 101 degrees and the toddler is taking steps towards the big, tempting displays and tall, shiny sale racks, Take 50 steps, sprinting around the shop after her.

It’s a no on the fit, and there’s no correct size in stock. Negotiate with the upset pre-schooler while trying to get the cross toddler in the pram, shouting ‘I’ll buy them online! I’ll buy them online!’ to the more pushy second shop assistant wanting you to order them on the spot. Take as many steps as possible in the direction marked ‘exit.’

The tale of how not to buy school 101 steps

Retreat home to the safety of internet school shoe shopping via the wine and bribes shop. Forget to order shoes. Add it to the ‘to do’ list. Clearly shelve it till the last minute…Lose count of all steps. But who cares.

*Approximately. I lost count.

Also, photos are of us at the beach last weekend because we have no school shoes to photograph! Yet.

More posts…how not to leave the house, in 1000 steps, on children, shoes and choices and to all the less than perfect mums


  • helloitsgemma

    August 5, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Buying school shoes is my biggest stress and there never seem to be that many shops that actually stock fitted shoes for kids, compared to shoes for adults. Here it involves a drive the out of town mall. I feel flakey before I’ve even got out of the car.
    Good luck!

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