But it's only a pair of shoes, not a Rolex!

We did the 'back to school shoe run' yesterday.  This mainly involves heading off to a fairly local Mothercare that contains a Clarks shoe shop and queuing, liking lots of shoes, getting stuck with one pair that are the right size that we've bought 5 times before and then paying a fortune for them.  Adding insult to injury is normally the fact that we're then also offered some kind of cleaner/spray/wax to add on to the already exhorbitant price we're paying.  You know that feeling right?

Yesterday we decided that we would get to the shop early. Now, we have a large Clarks store in town which is about 1.5 miles from our house but we don't go there.  Why?  Well, they open at 9.30am as that's the time the shopping centre opens (lazy or what!) *but* they rarely seem to open on time.  The last time I was there, it was 9.45am before they finally opened the shutters and I had already called out to a bunch of people milling around inside to see if they were actually going to open to be told they were waiting for another member of staff who was running late. How shoddy is that?  

So, we head off about 8 miles away to our local Mothercare that contains a teeny-tiny Clarks bit but they are always on time and seem to, ironically, have more choice. Go figure.

So, we are sitting in the car in the car park at 8.45am as we'd managed to arrive a bit too early.  Suddenly two more cars with children turned up so I suggested to hubby we decamp and stand by the door. I'm not daft when it comes to this stuff you know ;-)  We did so, and were quickly joined by another 4 mums with varying amounts of children and we all got chatting about the school shoe shop.  Seems they had the same idea too.

Doors opened at 9am and off we went to the Clarks bit.  We were first in - yippee!  I said we needed feet measured and new shoes plus trainers.  Did we have socks the lady asked?  Oh heck, no.  It had been warm out and the girls were in sandals with no socks.  Also, if I'm totally honest [whispers] I knew the girls shoes were too small and was hoping sandals would see us through this so-called summer *whistles*

Fortunately they had socks so S was first to go.  Would you believe that the amount of walking we do and the weather lately, even in sandals, has made them smell so she has smelly tooties.  How I'd love to be a shoe fitter - not!  Feet measured and I breathed a sigh of relief. She's only 1/2 size bigger.  I'm not such a bad mum after all.  I pointed out the trainers that we needed - same as last time - and then S chose some shoes she liked and the lady went and got them all. S has a high instep so sometimes, despite the correct size, shoes (and often boots in winter) won't fit her feet.  Fortunately the ones we all loved (aren't they pretty?) were just fine so that was her sorted :)

N was next.   Her feet have grown 1 1/2 sizes.  Oops!  No wonder her toes were sticking out from her sandals. Oh well, at least they were opened toed ones ;-)  I would have liked her to have the same shoes as S as they are so cute and also pretty so brilliant for parties (which we have a lot of coming up), but unfortunately they just did not fit her feet. Again, she has a high instep but apparently more so than her sister. The lady had brought a variety of shoes out and she picked some she liked which, I'm pleased to say, did fit.  Also, the added advantage was they had buckles as very often we hear the velcro being opened in the back of the car and her sandals are thrown away.  Here are her cute shoes which have little flashing lights in the heels too which she loves.

I did look at some Doodles sneaker type shoes for her but hubby and I decided she didn't really need them. I then considered some winter boots which I thought were gorgeous (they didn't have many to try) but she flung off saying "No".  Hubby again said we probably didn't need fur-lined boots just yet. OK, so I was on a shoe buying frenzy really wasn't I.

All done and dusted and we went to the till. Both girls eager to carry their new shoes.  £83.  I nearly fell over. Why I am constantly shocked is a mystery but it still amazes me that often the girls shoes cost more than mine do!  Having said that, I keep all the girls first shoes and looking back on J's from 13 years ago, they were from Clarks and cost £28 then so I guess nothing has changed - they've always been pricey.

The girls wanted their new shoes on as soon as we got home so socks on and they could wear them.  We don't normally wear shoes in the house but today was special and they wore them until bedtime. In fact, they wanted to put them on after I'd changed them into their PJs but I drew the line at that ;-)

If you're off school shoe buying - good luck!  I hope you don't have to wait too long.


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