Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shoe Woes - The story behind the shoes

"Barefoot is best" was a piece of advice given to me when I was expecting my first child. I thought this was fantastic! I would not have to buy a single pair of shoes for at least one year. A few more drops in the bucket for that college fund, right?


A couple months later I was pulled aside at my daughter's daycare and was informed that she could not attend daycare without shoes. I thought this was a little odd. I asked what a 10 week old infant needed shoes for. All they could tell me was, "It's policy."

I frantically zoomed around town looking for some soft-soled shoes. After stopping at 6, yes SIX, stores I found a pair of soft-soled shoes at a trendy little boutique with a $40 price tag. Sucked in a deep breath and forked over the lump of cash. It was reassuring to know that this particular brand of shoes uses leather that is rigorously tested for substances that are harmful to human health, and are socially responsible (sweatshop-free). I liked them so well I bought a second and then a third pair.

I thought these shoes were pretty slick. That was until the day my daughter decided to actually use them for something more than a fashionable accessory. She had decided it was time to crawl. I was excited about the new milestone achieved. Photos and movies were taken, emails were sent, I was the typical elated mother to a newly mobile child. Then it happened, while happily playing on the patio in her brand new fancy shoes, she crawled. I was afraid of her poor little knees getting scraped up on the rough pavement. Her knees were fine, her shoes were not. They were ruined. The paint was scraped and flaking. The embroidered design gouged. Within a few short days her little toes were poking through the holes in the shoes.

I tried just about every soft-soled shoe on the market. Not one pair survived. I was stubborn, I would find the shoe that would stand the test of crawlers. I never did find those shoes. My daughter learned to walk and I thought my search was over. I could quit worrying about her shoes. I was wrong again. All that walking has polished the shoe bottoms right into a smooth, slick accident waiting to happen. The great non-slip leather shoes were like ice skates on our tile floor. Especially if a little water was laying around. After a few good falls, we decided it was time to move onto "real shoes."

I never did think of those shoes again until I was expecting another baby. While most moms are busy worrying about a smooth delivery, a healthy baby, and what color to paint the nursery. I was stuck thinking about shoes. Then I had an idea...