Once upon a time I counted Sam’s pairs of shoes. At the ripe old age of 2 years and 4 months, it appeared she already had 35 pairs of shoes to her name (not counting the shoe-socks and booties for newborns that are tucked away in the drawers). To date, she’s outgrown about 31 of these pairs. I think more than the baby clothing companies, the baby shoe companies like Stride Rite make a fortune off moms! So we ask, WHY do we need so many pairs of shoes?
1. The cuteness factor. Even if they can’t walk yet, how can you not complete their outfit by putting them in a pair of shoes? Subconsciously, isn’t it like you leaving the house barefoot? Even if their feet will never touch the ground, you just HAVE to put them on.
There are even baby sized shoes for infants who can’t even turn over by themselves, much less walk. You’d think — Why would you need those? (Although yes, yes, I did buy some. I was an excited first time mom happy to dress her live doll. What do you expect?!)
2. The growth factor. Baby-toddler feet grow so fast it’s unbelievable. Someone once told me that most toddlers outgrow their shoes every two to three months. That was true in Sam’s case — as I was packing away her old pairs (some styles were 2 of each, in two sizes), I realized that we did buy them approximately 2 months apart.
3. The seasons factor. We had to stop the use of sandals when Autumn and pre-school kicked in because she needed to be in close-toed shoes. So we bought her a pair of Mary Janes and sneakers. Then, a few months later for winter, we added boots to the repertoire (and a slightly larger pair of sneakers in the event #2 would kick in again). The boots from last winter naturally didn’t fit anymore, and she only wore those two or three times at most! Oh and yes, a furry pair of Crocs called Blitzens because she loved her old ones so much.
Now that the Spring rains are upon us, we need to consider rainboots. I haven’t gotten far enough to think about summer yet.
4. The gifts factor. Taking into consideration factors #2 and #3, some of our family members have opted to gift Sam with shoes instead of clothes. So over the course of the month we’ve received a pair of Havaianas, Mickey Mouse Crocs, a new pair of white sandals and Punky Brewster looking sneakers that light up with every step.
5. The fashion factor. For my husband’s graduation last May, I bought Sam a pair of slip-ons to go with her dress. She’s only worn them once and they don’t fit anymore.
For the next special occasion, I am definitely not putting her in a dress and some pair of worn down shoes!
So the shoe count continues. Mind you, they are not cheap investments. Stride Rite and Pedipeds are generally in the $40 a pair price range though I’d have to admit they are the best, most comfortable pairs of shoes we’ve put on her, and I honestly do feel that is important with such little feet.
Sam LOVES shoes. When we go to a shoe store she picks out a pair and sits down to remove what’s on her feet so she can try them on. When she gets a new pair, she parades around the house with them, as if she got a new toy. I wonder if that is a sign of a shoe-fettish to come?
I must also mention, the thirty-five pairs don’t include those we’ve borrowed and have already returned. The shoe purchases we’ve made (apart from the size 0 ones I snuck under my husband’s nose) were carefully debated upon by my husband and myself as to each pair’s necessity. We looked for sale items and didn’t splurge on styles for her to wear.
Therefore… my dearest darling baby Jamie. We’d like you to know, while we love you dearly, you most likely won’t be getting a new pair of shoes until the age of 3 (unless you are lucky and factors #4 and #5 work in your favor). 🙂