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. I found my daughter’s bright blue crocs 4/5 at macy’s end of season sale for $10 (I also bought her the next size up for such a good deal). One day there were two in my car, the next time I looked I could only find one. Kids must have kicked one out upon exiting I guess. So the dilemma is what do I do with one left croc? Even though she is almost onto the next size, my baby boy will grow into it next year. There must be a plethora of orphan crocs out there with no child left in the family to wear that size. So how can I find a donated right shoe only croc in the same color and good condition? None on craigslist, none on ebay. I refuse to spend more than my initial investment of $10, when all I need is one croc that I know is out there that someone wants to get rid of…

  2. Oh Holly. tee hee.
    Go to WalMart and buy some cheap ones…different colors and cheap jibbitz thingies.
    I never buy the brand names.
    I’m cheap that way.

    And I HATE wal mart…
    but I go there anyway.


  3. my almost 2 year old twins can put them on (they share one pair LOL at the momnet ) themselves so I am buying some this spring … my problem is that with some shoes one kid ends up with two left feet (or right) if we have two pairs the same kind (& size)

  4. Crocs are perfect for boys, for every reason you listed. However, my youngest wears his fuzzy Crocs in the summer, and always on the wrong feet. At least he’s good for a laugh. 🙂

  5. I hate shoes and so do my kids. I try to leave the 3 youngest kids shoes in the van. Then I know we’ll have them when we go somewhere with everyone. The 8 yr old and up are on their own. If they can’t find their own shoes and socks, too bad. Not my problem!

  6. Ok, I have to say here, that I am glad I have only one boy to buy crocs for. I do not like crocs!!

    Now we do have this problem with flip-flops for the two girls and me. I go to Old-Navy, buy a bunch of solid color fli-flop and off we go. Problem is the two girls are always fighting, because they want to wear the same pair at the same time.

  7. I became addicted to Crocs when I had a babysitter who worked at the Croc Kiosk at the mall. I got them for half price! She no longer works there but I still buy them every year for the boys. I bought the ones with the Mickey Mouse holes this year. Too cute! I like them because even when my youngest was 2 he could put them on by himself though a lot of time on the wrong foot. I used the Sharpie to help him tell the difference between right and left: Black mark went to the outside of his foot. A warning on the Jibbitz: Everyone we’ve ever bought eventually fell off and was lost … somewhere.