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Yesterday morning the four of us headed out to get the girls the last of their stuff for the new school year. It was mainly pencils, gym clothes and of course shoes. I tend to leave the shoe buying until the end of the summer holidays, just in case they have a sudden foot growth over the break.

We headed into the nearest town and the huge shoe shop there. For Bart, I was looking for a pair of Hush Puppies. She has had the same style shoe for the last two years. Black leather, with a velcro strap and a cute little bow. The best design feature though, was the rubber that covered the front over the toes. Bart is a scuffer. I have no idea what she does, but she can wear out the toe in a shoe really fast. For AJ, who is nine going on nineteen, I just wanted something sensible and hard-wearing that we could all agree on.

I was pretty bummed to discover the store no longer carried my favourite shoes in the school section, so we headed to the kids size 2 aisle to check out what was available there. To be honest, not a lot. The designs were all really cute and everything a little girl would want, but there wasnt much her dad and I believed would stand up to weeks of playground abuse.

And then……..

I spotted a great pair of shoes in the Mary Jane style that the girls love and with velcro straps that their Dad can do up without cussing. (The man hates shoe buckles.) As there was only one pair on the shelf and I could see other last minute shoppers with eye rolling tweens in tow heading my way, I grabbed the shoes and thrust them at Bart.

“Here, try these on.”

My younger girl looked a bit dubious but removed her navy and white polka dot summer pumps and put the new shoes on.

“Oh my gosh,” I gushed “They are soooooo cool.” And they are. They look similar to a pair of funky Dr.1 Martens. “I would love them in my size”

Hearing my enthusiasm for the new footwear Bart straightened her little shoulders and began to parade up and down the store adding an extra swagger to her step.

By this time AJ had returned from her aisle armed with a couple of styles to see what all the fuss was about.

“I like those Mum.” she said pointing at Bart’s feet. I grabbed AJ’s hand and the two of us headed back to check out her choices. Bingo. They had a pair in her size. I then had both daughters prancing around the shop wearing the emo inspired shoes.

It then occurred to me that maybe…. just maybe. I headed another couple of rows up to the teenage size 6 range. Holding my breath I carefully scanned the shelves….


None in my size.