Talula’s Barefoot Books Blog

A running commentary on life as an online bookstore owner after 25 years in Early Childhood Education.

UHG! Is it really time to start ‘Back-to-School’ here in the U.S.???

Posted by Talula on July 27, 2009



Ok folks;

I KNOW you’ve seen the ads from the stores – all screaming to come in and get the great new clothes, shoes, jeans, etc. for your kid’s great ‘Back-to-School’ adventure!

This week began with all the local stores putting all the school supplies on sale. (As in paper, folders, binders, lunch kits, backpacks, etc. )

AAARRRGH! It’s still mid SUMMER – people! Now the kids start the panic dance that all the ‘cool’ stuff will be gone if you wait until the TAX-FREE weekend comes around (third week of August) which is AFTER school starts here in Texas!

Well ~ even though all my kids are grown ~ 3 granddaughters all needed closed-toe tennies for the school year and two of them will start to their version of “Big School” this week. Yep; you heard me right! Today was the first day for one of them. And since their mommies were doing their own version of ‘back-to-school’ panic (They are both Teachers, one going back after 5 years of MOMMY work); we (the granny and great-granny) decided to do the shoe-shopping honors for the 3 little girls!

However; we drew the line at taking all three wild spirits at the same time! So we figured out a simple little bait-&-switch routine. We offered to take ONE child at a time; one after the other. The original plan was for us to make three separate trips to the shoe stores (all within a block of each other).

Wellllll – the first mistake was to mention it to the present Mommy within earshot of the three giggling girlies! some how the Mommy had though we WANTED to take all three at once. Fat chance on that–‘Mommy who needs a nap herself’ –  This Granny & G.G.  are NOT falling for that! I repeat “We are NOT insane!”

Immediately all three, ran to get their flip-flops on to go and ran back into the room screaming “TAKE ME! TAKE ME!” After a few minutes of sad little faces when they realized only one was going to go first. Next the Mommy had to offer Special Treats for the second and third in line little ladies. Eventually it was decided to take the five yr old first; with the two youngers agreeing to the offer of treat, princess movie & begrudgingly –  NAP.

At this point; the Grannies breathed a sigh of relief, and off we went!

The five yr old (Miss M) was a little tired from all the week’s swimming sessions, so it was a little slow going but eventually we found two pair (one really good pair of tennis shoes and a great little flat for skirts & dresses.  We brought the flats home, but the tennis shoes were part of a buy-one-get one half price. So we decided to try to pick one for the little girls to get a better deal.  She was ok with that, sort of. I think she might have thought that we weren’t going to buy the tennies.

As soon as we arrived back at the house with Miss M; of course both of the little ones (both aged 3) were excitedly yelling “Take Me! Take Me!” again. Granny & G.G. couldn’t bear the sad faces again. so we took a great big gulp of courage; and started off with both Little Lizzie and M2 after the contortionist act of placing their two car seats into our extended cab truck. First stop was Wally World to give a look at the tennies I had seen online; which of course did not live up to the pics.  Both girls had to go to the bathroom, so I unhooked the restraints from the shopping basket /seats of that monstrous grey all-in-one-buggy one at a time and took them each for their own trip. G.G. then tried to find a pair of anything that would fit, while we were on the bathroom safari. No go; so it was out the door to the tune of “Nooo! No More Stores!” G.G. and I then insisted “Yesss! We have special shoes for you at the other store!”

Back to the truck and off we go! Mind you it is one block, cross the freeway and hit the first driveway to the stores in our very close end of the mall. That did not save us from a war which broke out over a slinky which the two had been happily taking turns with during the whole drive so far.   So Granny went into her “silly” mode and challenged them into stretching the slinky from both sides of the truck windows to see how big it was! Yay! Giggles again, or at least until we could park the truck in front of the shoe stores. And since Granny was still in ‘silly’ mode, we laughed and danced our way to the first shoe store. Whew! We had arrived.

Immediately strolled to the back of the store which we had already scoped out for their size section. Both girls earned a sticker for being very patient with the salesgirl while she used the metal size chart on their feet. Then I gave them each their own ‘princess’ platform to sit on while we dutiful servants brought beautiful samples of shoes (aka Cinderella-style). We tried to double team them; but M2 was wise to that and slipped away to play with the puzzle cube around the corner of the adjoining aisle. I couldn’t see her while tring to grab shoes, so had to keep going over to her to try on each pair while she played (and so I knew she was still right there). Finally convinced G.G. to stand in a certain spot within visual scope of M2 while I raced around to find a suitable sized pair of reasonable priced shoes for two wiggling, giggling three year olds. Finally after trying approximately  15 pairs each, Eureka! Score! We had two pair each of non-licensed pink tennies and each a pair of flats cute enough to satisfy their post-toddler tastes!

I spent 20 minutes playing with the puzzle cube and the mirrors, while G.G. did the grown-up stuff of paying for all those shoes. We danced out of the shoe store – but then we had to go dancing across the street to get Miss M’s lovely Stride-rite tennies. Since we found such great bargains on the little ones shoes, we would not need the second pair for the ‘great deal’ but we still needed the already beloved (& very cute) EXPENSIVE tennies for Miss M.

So G.G. again did the grown-up parts while I held their flip-flops, sunglasses & stuffed little duck and kitty. Oh! and guarded the front door and all the racks of shoes from accidental mishaps  from the hop-scotching, jumping, somersaulting little three year old gymnasts. Thank goodness they had deep carpeting in a design of big squares of game patterns to keep their attention. After returning sunglasses, flip-flops, and lovies to the girls to carry, we all grabbed sacks of shoes and headed for the car. Of course, then came the “I’m thirsty!” “I’m hungry!” portion of our trip.

We buckled everybody in, raced down the road to the nearest-to-home Sonic for Strawberry Ice Cream Slushes and the promise of dinner as soon as we reached home. Then one changed her mind and screamed she didn’t want strawberry as we were in the middle of ordering; which resulted in the guy having to come out to the truck to get our order (gee whiz- he couldn’t hear it for the screaming??). We calmed the little girls, ordered and in the ten minutes it took to bring the order out; M2 made the tired Little Lizzy start screaming by telling her it was raining. In all fairness; Lizzy has been recently had the bejeesuz scared out of her by a thunderstorm while at the babysitters. It is now her most terrorizing memory, so everytime some even mentions rain – she is pertified and becomes a velcro-attached part of the nearest trusted relative. So after she unbuckled her seat belt and charged into the front seat with me begging “Hold You! Hold You!”and I managed to reseat her and promise that it was not rain outside (See honey! Look Out of the window, no water out there.) We charged out of the Sonic like a bat-out-of-h_ll, and got to the house within 5 minutes, unloaded all the little ladies, their assorted paraphenalia, new shoe bags (after having to replace them into the boxes and bags –  since they had to check their purchases out like any good bargain hunter) and actually close the door behind them to trap (uh – deliver) them into their mother(s) keeping again.  

The immediate reaction to shutting the front door was instant chaos! Little Lizzy wanted to tell Mommy all about her new “choos” ( Oh no she didin’t try to say ‘Jimmy Choos’ did she! Is this the family shoe fetish rearing its ugly head in another generation?) Miss M came racing in to see if she really  was going to have the craved tennies to claim for herself, sreeching with joy when she saw them, and the bullish (she’s a Taurus) M2 torpedo’ed the baby kitten, saying “See – I gen ‘ le! I hold him nice!”as the kitten glared at me from his up-side down position.  

As we untangled kids, shoes, kittens (both real and stuffed) and sorted out which shoe went to which child; they were then busy for 15 minutes modeling for their Mommys. Miss M then began to test out her ‘cool’ new tennies and raced up & down the hallway — returning to the living room – zipping past to smack into the kitchen cabinet. We applauded her and then suggested she stop BEFORE she got to the kitchen. Then M2 copied her (sans shoes) and G.G. and I decided it was time to vacate the premises. After many sloppy kisses and hugs and choruses of “‘Thank You!”s and “I love You!”s; we managed to escape to the security and sanity of our quiet vehicle.

A sigh of relief escaped from both of us, then an immediate “I’m tired!” came from both of us. We laughed and then called home to see what we could order from the fast food place for us so we would not have to go home and cook dinner! That was one delicious hamburger and soda, eaten with in our barefeet under our table at home!


Miss M when she was 3!

Miss M when she was 3!

I didn’t have any pics of our shoe trip, just found this one of Miss M at age 3 (but now she is 5), she looks a lot like Little Lizzy does now at 3. pprobably cause their mothers are twins!


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