Wednesday, September 26, 2007

2B or not 2B? 5G, in fact.

Here we go again, time is passing by without leaving much of a trace, except, perhaps, on my skin which I swear is looking saggier every day. I’ve got to the point now where no matter what the spud does I am scarcely surprised and I seem barely to notice changes in him, until one day I just can’t get that t-shirt over his head and I realise he’s grown out of yet another wardrobe. This led to a major milestone in the spud’s life last week – his very first pair of Clarks shoes.

Those of you who have not grown up in ye merry olde land of ye gin and tonics may never have experienced that most British of childhood experiences, the regular visits to Clarks to have one’s feet measured. When I was a child, this involved putting one’s foot onto a metal box while the sides excitingly slid in, stopping when they hit foot. When one pulled out one’s foot, one’s new shoe size was revealed to the ponderous sighs of one’s parents. The shops were inevitably dim and slightly dusty and filled with navy Mary Janes and black daps. Lots of places sell children’s shoes but really, there is only one Clarks - which is why, despite putting out only one fashionable shoe a decade, there are still Clarks shoe shops on every high street in Britain.

These days, not much has changed. The shops are brighter and the Mary Janes are now pink but a machine which is undoubtedly a mechanical foot-measurer still exists. The spud’s feet however were measured by a nice man who I am certain sold me shoes when I was 6, using a sizing ruler with a little slider on it. Of course, baring the spud’s feet and crouching down beside him gives him a great excuse to kick a stranger totally senseless while grinning widely and sweetly, like a miniature Malcolm McDowell but without the bowler hat. ‘Aww’ said all the shop assistants as the nice Clarks man retrieved his teeth from the floor.

‘What size is he?’ I asked, having no clue what size a baby’s foot ought to be. ‘5G’ said the nice Clarks man, maintaining a rictus grin while backing away. ‘Is that big?’ I asked again ‘Well’ he said with a smile, pointing to the cute little baby shoes ‘none of these go up to that size’ and he indicated a small shelf of serious looking shoes. I wasn’t sure at that point whether or not a satisfied little smile crossed his face as he watched me furtively clocking the price tags. Mentally I began cancelling holidays for the next ten years as I calculated how regularly we would have to repeat this routine. As we bumped our way out of the shop in the buggy, me clutching to my chest the precious bag of shoes, the nice man called me back. 'Here' he said, holding out a little card with a date scribbled on it 'come back around this time so we can check his size. He should be out of these shoes by then'. I looked at the date. It was next week December, meaning we would be doing this every three months until the end of time the spud stops growing.

The real trouble is of course that now we know the spud's shoe size, suddenly we are obsessed with buying him shoes. The Frog is the only man I know who can compete with me on 'size of shoe wardrobe' and therefore, as two shoe obsessives, we have already bought the spud a cute pair of size 6 boots for later because they were on sale. Suddenly, time passes not in increments of days but in the spud’s shoe sizes. I’m not sure what this means for my skin, but my bank balance is surely going to be in need of artificial enhancement fairly soon.

19 comments:

holly said...

i love your post. i identified, as i have one at the 2 year mark.
i am putting a link to you on my blog. i hope that's okay.

Suki said...

Ah, shoes for kids. Nice memories on the Suki front too there. :)

Sadly, I've been stuck at a European 38 since I was 11, so the fun of growing feet got lost real fast! And with that, new shoes.
Believe it or not, I'm now trying to persuade folks to give me money for a second serviceable pair! Have been stuck wearing sandals with broken soles and stretched-out straps with EVERYTHING other than what goes with sports shoes!
(Okay, that rant had to come out some time!)

Sparx said...

Holly - thanks! I appreciate it. I'll pop over soon too. I can only imagine how often you are buying shoes for your 2 year old these days...!

Suki - hon, that is Just Not Right. Every girl needs at least 3 pairs of shoes - a dress pair, a comfy pair and a serviceable pair that one can wear in the rain. Surely it must be sale season soon? I'd be ranting as well in a big way. Winter is coming and you Deserver new shoes!!!

Anonymous said...

We should nominate you for IBC at iblogcup.com. What do you think?

Self employed mum said...

First shoes aawww so cute, I love reading your posts because I miss my kids baby/toddler stage so much. I was sorting, well gutting out my wardrobe at the weekend and each child has a folder with 'special things' in it, their first pre walker shoes from Clarks and when my daughter got her first pair of real shoes from clarks, they took a photo, dated it and put it in a little photo frame, of course I had to bring everything out and look over them and then I sat bubbling because they were so gorgeous, my children that is, they still are gorgeous and handsome but in an older way. I would relive the baby/toddler years a million times over. Hold on to these years because before you know it he'll be buying his own shoes. x

Elisa Morrison said...

Hi. I've been reading your blog for months (since I was home on maternity leave), and can so relate because I have an 8 mo. old boy. I read to find out what to expect next. :) Thanks for your humor! It brightens my day. I'm a full-time mom in Texas, but occasionally, I go in to work where I am a labor and delivery nurse.

Thanks again, Elisa
karenelisam.blogspot.com

Driving With the Brakes On said...

There is a special place in heaven for the sales associates that have to fit children's shoes. My mother has thankfully been keeping the kids in kicks - I think it satisfies her need to shoe shop without having to justify the need for another pair of black shoes to my dad. Our regular payout seems to be on coats - I think both children have arms that are growing faster than the rest of their body . . . it seems like every other month they are in need of new outerwear. Cancelling holidays indeed! Good thing they are so darn cute.

Sparx said...

Self Employed Mum! Oh, I love your boxes... might have to do the same, so far there are sooo mamy thing I've been unable to give away that his cast-offs need their own wardrobe but hopefully I can be more objective in a few months. I am indeed holding on to this time, it's brilliant, isn't it!

Sparx said...

Elisa - nice to meet you! I am glad you're enjoying the blog. Are you enjoying being at home? They're so cute at this age, hey? Good luck with it all!

Sparx said...

Driving - oh goodness... coats! I think the whole having children thing is a great excuse for shopping by proxy, as it were. Great to see you!

Threat Assessment & Response Canada said...

Oh, gosh, this post had me laughing out loud.

I'm in Canada and I do know Clark's. My British grandmother made sure I got my Mary Jane's as soon as it was time. Of course, it was hard to find them again over here.

Suki said...

Sparx - Be happy. I got a second pair today. Actually, being Indian I need four pairs. A fourth to go with ethnic outfits. BTW it IS sale season here, hence all the shopping-related rants and posts!

Sparx said...

Threat! Sorry, I never know what to call you in the comments. I had a love-hate thing with Clarks... I thought their shoes were hideous but they were always the most comfortable...

Suki - hooray! New shoes = good! Sounds like you need more, keep lurking those sales. What sort of shoes go best with ethnic outfits? I'm seeing moccasins here but I reckon that's too many movie cliches. My parents live near Indian land and I have to say the locals all wear cowboy boots.

DJ Kirkby said...

But ehy the price of those shoes is worth it cos they give you that nice little wallet with Spuds pic in it and foot measurment right? Not. We changed to become Hush Puppy devotees, seriously try them, cheaper, better fitting, nicer to children and better service all round.

Jennie said...

I know some people don't feel quite right about second hand for their children, but an actual foot doctor told me that there's really no problem with second hand shoes. As long as there is good support, and the soles aren't uneven from wear, no harm done.

Another solution that we have considered is chopping the feet off of the child. No shoe problem, and then they can't run off and get into trouble.

And about the sagging: moisturize moisturize moisturize. Remember the neck and earlobes. If that doesn't work, I know the name of a really good surgeon. Mikael has already accepted that he's paying for an everything tuck when I'm finished bearing children. My belly button will be where my nose is now.

Sparx said...

DJ - thanks for the tip... and the frog likes hush puppies better as well which is always a good thing...

Jennie - ah, yes, the old footectomy. However it negates that all important chance at being a footballer's mum. As for plastic surgery, I'm worried about my earlobes too! er... actually, not really. But am seriously into the moisturiser anyway!

Good to see you both!

Suki said...

Sparx - I'll be doing a post on shoes or on Indian stuff soon at this rate, and then you can read up on what I mean by "ethnic".
BTW, I'm Indian, not American Indian. So cowboy boots are like - "Er.. what? Movie thing? Yeah.. foreign" if you mention them to most people other than teens here.
If we wore cowboy boots in this sweltering heat and humidity, our feet would probably sweat till nothing but pulp was left!

With ethnic stuff - salwar suits or sarees for women - it's usually sandals or slippers.

Sparx said...

Suki - oh, I am sorry! Not sure what I was thinking there...

Anonymous said...

hey - love the post - am in the same situation with my daughter now...and love ur comments eg- having a baby ActuallY means havinbg a baby! try telling that to baby free friends getting broody :)