August 11, 2008

Shoe shopping for me is one of my favorite things to do. Shoe shopping for my five year-old daughter is not. The main problem is that on principle (what exact principle, I’m not sure), Camber refuses to try on shoes that are in her size. Upon entering J.C. Penney’s famed shoe department last Friday night, Camber was pulled by forces beyond her power to a pair of women’s leopard-print kitten heels. She scowled at me when I told her that they don’t allow open-toed shoes at kindergarten.
“For church then?” she asked.
“Maybe when you’re six,” I told her.

When I made the fatal error of looking too long at a pair of girls’ Keds, Camber hissed and grabbed a handful of crib shoes.
“These are so cute,” she said, holding up a pair of pink booties with fluffy lambs’ heads hanging off the toes.
“Yes they are,” I agreed, “But you are five years old, not five months.”
That revelation too came as a disappointment.

After twenty minutes of examining and reexamining every shoe in the store, only one pair of girls’ sneakers managed to generate any enthusiasm in my daughter, and of course they were hot pink and cost $60. If the shoes didn’t come with a free tube of lip gloss, I would have thought that I was getting ripped off.

I was against the shoes for a number of reasons (they had pictures of the Bratz dolls on them for starters), but the deal breaker was that they came with shoelaces. Back in April, our school district sent us a letter that included a list of important skills that rising kindergartners needed to work on over the summer. Tying shoelaces was one of them. As the proud owner of an extensive collection of shoes with Velcro fasteners, I was personally offended by the letter and threw it in the trash. Shoelace tying is an overrated skill in my book.

After explaining to Camber that it was against my best interest to buy shoes for her that she couldn’t put on herself, I did what any sensible, level-headed mother would do. The next morning, I went to Target, Marshalls and Payless and bought every shoelace-free shoe in my daughter's size that cost $20 or less. When I got home, I arranged all of the shoes on the dining room table.

“Let’s go shoe shopping!” I chirped.
Ohh!” said Kellen, as he reached for a pair of pink polka-dot pull-ons. “I like these.”
“Not for you,” I said, and took them back.
Camber was not impressed with any of my selections.
“I like the Bratz shoes a lot better,” she said, turning up her nose at the bargains that lay before her.
“Choose one of these,” I told her, “Or I’ll choose for you.”
“I’m just going to wear sandals to school,” she announced as she backed out of my shoe store.
You can’t,” I reminded her. “You’re not allowed to wear shoes that show your toes.”
“Sandals won’t show my toes,” she pointed out, “If I wear socks.”


The Knighton Fam said...

Tell her that, only in Utah, is it socially acceptable to wear socks with sandals.

Jan Russell said...

Ooooh, I love the white pair on the left and all three adorable pairs on the right! If she doesn't come around, she could always wear her soccer cleats - those are close toed ;)

me said...

LOVE your blog! (found it through Kristi McKenney, a friend of a friend) If I had time, I'd spend all day reading your posts, they make me laugh!
My shoe-shopping problem with my daughter is she wants every pair in her size. GREAT idea what you did-lets her still "shop" from the convenience and privacy of your home.
We also buy the slip-on or velcro styles. My son is going into 2nd grade and still doesn't want to learn to tie shoes. Not a good thing when his soccer cleats come untied during a game.
Good luck with the shoes!

Makayla said...

Smart kid. :)

Just The Girl said...

I love these shoes do they come in my size?

Shosh said...

I did that once! i have two boys who are a year apart but have the same shoe size. I went to Target and bought every pair of sneaker that did not have laces or lights on them. (i HATE those lights). i lined them up on the floor and told them each to choose one. Of course, it couldn't be that easy. they both wanted the same pair.

amyhick said...

yea...I sooooo just went through this. Stride one, get the next 50% off. Killed me still. 60 dollar shoes. My kids won't touch the cute ones. My 3rd grader still does not know how to tie shoes. She has been wearing crocs for too many years.

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

In England we have these overpriced kids shoes with toys hidden in the heels. The toy is uttery crap and yet children are magically drawn to them.
Shoe shopping with my 5-year-old son is a nightmare at the moment too. Unless he can get in and out of them in 5 seconds flat he is so not interested.

Kathryn said...

Did you come across any princess shoes in your quest for non-lace up shoes? (Totally agree with you there by the way!) Seems my 3 year old will only wear Princess shoes these days and in we read she must point out all the dresses she likes and NEEDS! Yes, she neeeeds them!

Ethington Family said...

I guess I didn't realize how lucky I am that my 9 year old daughter has never cared what I bought her, she just wears it. Of course, she doesn't wear it together the way it was intented (like matching them) but she has never complained when I have bought her something. I guess that will change all too soon, and I should enjoy it while I can.

janaemadsen said...

I like the polka dot shoes- and people here in Washington seem to wear birkinstocks to church on a regular basis. Some with socks

Michal said...

i once had a serious crush come to a screeching halt when the boy in question arrived at my BYU dorm apartment wearing white tube socks with his harachis. ugh.

there were several darling pairs there. where do they get their fashion sense?

Jana said...

Hey wait! Does this mean that I have to stop wearing my reinforced toe pantyhose with my summer sandals? You people are making me nervous...

Cade said...

Enjoyed your post.... well, J. C. Penney is one of my favorite also for online shopping.