I have a shoe problem.

It is more of a shoe management problem.

Then I have a solution.

A shoe management solution.

Which causes a problem.

A shoe management problem…

Here in lies the shoe management problem: a child is born with TWO feet and society expects that they will be wearing shoes on BOTH feet. Oh, and they should match. Thanks society. Way to up the parent pressure.

This was an issue when I had just one child because quite honestly he just had too many shoes. Let’s just admit that baby shoes are the cutest thing ever and a first time mom is powerless in its clutches. I bought cute baby shoes. I received cute baby shoes as gifts. I received cute baby shoes as hand-me-downs. My baby was continuously dressed in cute baby shoes that coordinated with cute baby outfits for exactly 3 seconds

My baby hated wearing shoes. I hate wearing shoes. Genetics was working against my treasure trove of cute baby shoes. After losing one shoe in the house, in the car, in the grocery store and in the mall I noticed a trend. I was leaving a cute baby shoe trail around town. I gave up. No more shoes (or socks for that matter) for baby. Yeah for Texas weather.

I put all the cute baby shoes into the closet. There they stayed until I pulled them out to transfer them to baby #2 closet where they stayed until I transferred them to baby #3 closet until I gave them away to a friend who was having a baby because they were in perfect condition, unused.

As the boys grew into an age where shoes are expected, I started developing a shoe management system. This shoe management system is based on the basic philosophy that shoes are overpriced and boys’ feet grow quickly.

Here is Holly’s shoe management system for boys (H.S.M.S.F.B.):

1. In winter each boy should have one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of dress shoes.
2. In summer each boy should have one pair of crocs and one pair of dress shoes.
3. Dress shoes should be chosen for their ability to be used in both summer and winter and should be handed down from one boy to the next.
4. Every fall each boy goes shopping to get their tennis shoes (Ryan’s also double as his school uniform shoes).
5. Every spring each boy chooses his croc color off the crocs.com website and Holly makes one giant crocs order that qualifies for free shipping.

Before the advent of crocs I had tested sandals (they break and/or stink after a month), summer use of tennis shoes (don’t get me started…they are ALWAYS muddy) and flip-flops (*nightmare* boys can’t walk in flip-flops!). I am just going to say it:

I love crocs. I love crocs on boys because they are sturdy, they don’t stink, they are easily rinsed if muddy and they stay on boys’ feet.

Yeah crocs! Yeah for motherhood in the age of crocs.

A HSMSFB tip is a nearly daily cleaning of crocs. I either dump them in the washer when I am starting a load or throw them into the used bathwater for a little scrubbing. They dry so quickly that either works really well.

Another HSMSFB tip is that all shoes are kept at the back door. At the back door is a bucket for crocs deposits.

So last year the HSMSFB worked beautifully. Rhett (then 1) and Ryan (then 6) chose silver crocs and Reid (then 3) chose blue (of course). I spent last summer confident that I had this shoe management thing down. I spent last summer feeling like a genius. Last summer…good.

This summer…

It all started with the color selection. All three boys chose the same color. No big deal? They all want the same toys. They all want the same kid’s meal prize. To them same equals fair. So I ordered the 3 pairs of blue crocs in sizes 8/9, 10/11 and 12/13.

I noticed my error on DAY ONE. Size 8/9 doesn’t look much different then size 10/11 and size 10/11 doesn’t look much different then size 12/13. In fact, size 8/9 doesn’t really look that different from size 12/13 when you are in a rush.

I have been at the park with one or two children and noticed that they are wearing two different size crocs. Unfortunately it never involved just the two sizes of the children represented at the park.

So thinking myself a genius I stopped by a store that sold jibbitz. I know! I will just buy their initial letters to add to the shoes.

First mistake was naming all my children with the same first initial.

Second mistake was expecting a store to carry their first and second initials.

I know! I will just buy some symbol that would make each shoe different.

First mistake is to assume that I could find BOY themed jibbitz.

Second mistake is to assume I am willing to pay money for the super random, ugly and dumb BOY themed jibbitz I found.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t throw another $18 down this hole.

Until I got home and went to the website, chose things they would actually like and threw another $21 down this hole…

And so my dear reader(s), I am still frantically searching for same size crocs every time we leave the house until I get a shipment from jibbitz.

Oh, and add this into the mix:

According to Rhett, ELEPHANT can’t leave the house without wearing his last summer’s size 6/7 crocs. Thank God they aren’t blue and don’t require another $6 worth of adornment…

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  1. now that was funny! i will be taking your advice when we get back to america. right now we have one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of sandals or flip flops. for the most part. the 15 year old seems to have more shoes, but i think her feet may be done growing so that is only fair. the rest of the kids just wear whatever pair of shoes they find first. it works for us.

  2. Never thought I’d buy crocs – are they really that comfortable? but then my daughter went to preschool and the “I-gotta-have-its” began. I gave in and gave her a pair for her birthday.

    If an elephant walks a mile in your crocs does that make him an “eleph-ile?” or a “croco-phant?

  3. Ya, SHARPIE! $1.99 at most…or, if you really want a quick ID use three different colours. You CAN do this!
    Very handsome elephant, by the way.

  4. Hilarious!! But I’ll make you feel better. Four daughters, you can imagine the shoes we have floating around here!

  5. Although I think Jack Jack would be very cute in crocs…I just cannot give in. We do have a similar shoe management strategy, however, in the summer we go with one dress shoe (in Jack Jack’s case it is still a sandals) and one pair of keen sandals. They are antimicrobial, you can throw them in the wash and I bought them each a size too big last summer and i don’t have to buy new one this year.