Friday, 29 March 2019

THIS MAMMA WRITES... the trials of a first shoe fitting

Today we packed ourselves up and went to the City to meet the boys’ Grandma to go to have a shoe fitting at Clarks. To me this felt like an absolute rite of passage, an institution where I myself got my shoes as a kid. I was looking forward to it and it felt like an occasion. I have to say I was so underwhelmed it almost made me feel a bit upset.

As the 20% in store discount weekend with Tamba and with Charlie walking since 11 months and Harry a few days before his first birthday; now seemed like the perfect time to get some proper shoes measured. The boys’ Uncle brought them some amazingly cute trainers for their birthday so I knew I wanted something more like a shoe than the Velcro-type pumps that Clarks offer. Something like a lace up boot, a little less casual. I know I have a million pairs of shoes myself, but the boys are only little and will grow out of them so quickly anyway, it seemed daft buying a second pair of similar shoes – their trainers from Uncle Jimmy are so special I wanted them to keep wearing those too.

We arrived in store only to find the kids section was upstairs and the double pushchair plus myself didn’t fit into the tiny lift. The boys were napping and one of them could have continued to while his brother was being fitted but they had to both be woken and carried upstairs while the buggy was parked in the downstairs storeroom. Luckily my Mum was with me or it could have been even trickier. Being upstairs meant I had to keep a super, super close eye on the boys as they both walked about and not let them stray more than an arms length from me. Given we were there to try on shoes, some walking was obviously required and it seemed a little daft to encourage little ones to march about so close to a huge open downward flight of stairs. The boys just wanted to stay on the floor and explore, so couldn’t understand when they’d been encouraged to move about road-testing the shoes, why they were suddenly being forced to be stationary in our arms. It made the experience so much more stressful than it needed to be.

I have a huge bugbear about boys vs girls clothing. I’m not a gender stereotype by any means – my boys have pink things. However I find the ratio between girls and boys items in shops absurd. More often than not there are so many lovely girly clothes, shoes and outfits compared to a handful of lovely boys things, which in my opinion are usually quite boring. This is why I do most of my clothes shopping online. Clarks was no different from the norm, and when I was asked so select some shoes to try there wasn’t any that immediately sung out at me. They had plenty of the basics but as I said earlier I was looking for something a little different. We selected some lace up boots but the colours available were teal, mustard and a bright coral red. Fairly feminine and not exactly the most adaptable when it came to coordinating with outfits. I did love the shoes though, but apparently the navy and burgundy versions I saw online were last season and not available in Charlie and Harry’s size (which was miraculously exactly the same, down to their width and one foot being half a size bigger).

So we left disappointed and went to ease the pain with a jacket potato. But this Mamma doesn’t quit. Once we got home I searched online and found the colours I liked in their sizes; and because they didn’t come from Clarks directly, the prices were lower and I actually ended up saving almost as much as I would have with the Tamba discount. Result!

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