I'm not a shopper to begin with. This much is true. But there is little worse in my mind than shoe shopping... for children.
Whenever my children say, "Mom? I don't think my shoes fit any more," which happens about twice a year, I inwardly groan. Then I outwardly groan. And then I make plans to take them to the nearest shoe store (typically Payless because, let's face it, when you're buying all new shoes for two kids twice a year, running to the pricey shoe store doesn't happen unless it's a very special occasion). And then I make sure we have liquor in the cabinet.
Today was one of these days. M2 had been in her tennis shoes since early summer, and when I checked them the other day, I noticed that her toes were getting squished. So I promised that I'd take her to the store today and see if I could find her some new sneakers that should, theoretically, fit till mid-summer of this year.
We got to the store, and I had her feet measured (sure enough, she had grown). We started trying on shoes, and then M1 piped up, "Mom, my shoes don't fit, either."
I reached down and tested. His toes were poking the end of the shoe. So I had him measured. And yup, he had outgrown his, too.
M2 tried on four pairs of shoes. She loved pair #1. She liked pair #2. Pair #3 was a pair of blue/silver/white tennis shoes with little blue hearts on them, and one of them hurt her feet. Then she found pair #4 and declared the winner. The kicker? Pair #4 was IDENTICAL to pair #3, but apparently they were somehow different enough to have subliminal appeal a 5-1/2-year-old girl. I don't pretend to get it.
Then we headed across the store to find shoes for M1. He tried on a pair of size 6 1/2 - MEN'S - and discovered they hardly had any growing room. Then he found a pair of entirely black shoes that he loved but which were size 7 1/2 and fell off the second he tried to walk. THEN he found a pair of size 7 shoes. They fit, but they weren't wide enough (boy has funky feet). And finally we found the winner. Pair #4 for him, pair #8 for me.
Between putting on the shoes; me undoing the shoe store lace knots, lacing everything up, and tying the shoes; me saying things like "You have to take out the paper first" and "Get OFF me, child" (to the girl, who has gone uber-clingy again) and "No, you may NOT have three pairs of tennis shoes" (also to the girl) and "Yes, you have to try on both shoes so I can see how they look when you walk in them" (to the boy)... it was a 45-minute shopping trip.
I think the saleslady was glad when we finally came up to check out. I know I was. And just think - I get to do it all over again in six months!