Yep. That dreaded time is upon us again, back to school shoe shopping. It is not our favourite time of the year. However a few months ago I bought a shoe measuring device from Clark’s. It cost me a tenner. My thinking was that our role play around doctors and dentists has worked to the extent that he will consent to be examined (as long as it’s fast) with no tears so maybe it would work for shoes. I got it out and he wouldn’t play, until Popples had a go. Then his interest was piqued. He came and had a look, she was laughing because there was tickling and he took his shoes off. He then grabbed my hand and put it on his foot. “My turn” he said in a whisper and he had his turn.
Over the next couple of weeks it was brought out for “Foot measuring time”, said in a very upbeat voice with a “who’s going first” to encourage a sense that it was exciting and to be first was winning. It seemed to work but that was in the house. I enlisted my eldest to come with me to help if necessary and went to the shoe shop at opening time so it wouldn’t be too busy and there’d be no wait.
Popples got measured, picked light up shoes, tried them on and was doing her walkabout to make sure they didn’t slip. By the time she was sat back down to have them removed and boxed, Oliver had his shoes off and was climbing out of his buggy! He sat and was measured, no ones hair got pulled, no one got kicked, he just sat there wiggling his toes but she got a rough measure. Then she brought out four pairs of shoes. She laid them out and I signed “which”. He then picked the ugliest shoes (in my opinion) and tried them on, went to the mirror to admire himself and give himself a kiss. Thankfully they fit and we were on our way. No tears. No meltdown. Everyone happy and me and Emily amazed, her feeling redundant.
I showed his dad the shoes “they are so ugly” and I said he picked them. Ugly or not he picked his own shoes. He made his own choice and if he likes them, he could have had clown shoes for all I care.
He also picked a pair of messing about shoes and his own new school coat, bright red with pockets. If he’s picked them, he’ll wear them.
What a difference a year makes. He also had a no fuss hair cut today. Maybe role play does work but I also think that seeing his little sister do these things really helps. Monkey see, monkey do and, lets face it, my youngest two are little mischievous monkeys!