Nana (of NanaPop) and I are huge Big Lots junkies. We make at least one trip to the local store each time I am home for a visit. I know that it might sound like a ridiculous outing to many, but if I can get a sturdy name brand item for a 1/3 the cost, I'm all in!
Last Fall, Nana, Moo, and I were at Big Lots during one of our visits home. I was early in my pregnancy with Roo and was trying to gather things (socks, tape, wrapping paper, etc.) that I would need in the coming months. In the summer clearance section was a small display of Crocs. They were stocked in limited supply and limited colors. Moo's foot at the time was still a chubby baby tootsie and measured between a five and a six. There was one pair in her size. Hideous, orange, Mary Jane's.
Let me pause here to say that yes, I do personally own Crocs, as does A. We wear them because they are comfortable, not fashionable, and they are quick to take on and off and to clean. However, we do realize that they are generally AWFUL looking and plastic. Plastic shoes. I am no stranger to plastic shoes being a child of the 80's and I rocked jellies back in my day. But my adolescent jellies were thinner, in style, and glittery. Crocs are not. They are ugly, plastic, and overpriced. (I will now climb down from my hypocritical soapbox.)
I showed the orange Crocs to Moo and she was less than impressed. Glancing down at the tag, I saw that this pair was marked at a fair price for a pair of ugly, plastic shoes. She probably wouldn't even wear the things. Worst case, I thought, she could wear them in the house as house shoes with socks, right? Into the cart they went. Upon returning home, the orange shoes were placed in the shoe rack beside her brown Stride Rites. Much to my surprise the next day, she indicated a desire to wear them. For the next several months, she either wore her black dressy WeeSqueaks or the orange Crocs. We passed into winter and the Crocs grew tighter. By the beginning of March, they were leaving marks on her foot where she has outgrown them.
Great with child, I made the 1 mile trip to SP Town Center and the local shoe store. I found a very reasonable shoe that would work for spring and summer. Moo found more Crocs. She pointed "purpur! purpur!" There were indeed purple Crocs. I suggested to her that we could buy that pair of full price plastic shoes at a later date. She began to cry. I looked at my watch. 6:07 pm - the school night Witching Hour. I conceded and the PurPur shoes were worn out of the store.
Why I even bothered purchasing perfectly reasonable shoes is beyond me. The only pair of shoes that she has worn all summer with limited exception of a pair of flip flips has been The Purple Shoes. Her annunciation has improved as has her vocabulary. TPS have a special place in our home. They are worn here, at NanaPops, at the park, ....
While at the park a week ago, I notice that her exuberant running looked a little odd. I asked her if something was wrong. "The Purple Shoes huuuurt." Ah, yes. I could see very familiar red marks on her heels. I sadly told her that TPS were too small. We later went to REI and purchased a pair of clearance sandals to replace TPS. We traveled to NanaPops for a week and wore the new shoes. All was well, right?
This morning we were heading out to the park. Moo asked for TPS. I reminded her that they were now too small. She repeated herself. I showed her the new sandals. She repeated herself slowly. (Clearly, I am hard of hearing.) With a sigh, I pulled out TPS and off we went.
After an hour of playing, her walk was indicative of pain. As I loaded them in the van, Moo asked me to take TPS "oft - hurt". The look on her face was that of genuine heartbreak. In need of a few things for Roo for the beach and wielding a Carter's coupon, I decided to make a run to Williamsburg. Much to my surprise, the Croc outlet that I was hoping for was one door down from Carter's. We entered the Croc store as Moo snacked in the stroller and Roo snoozed on my chest.
"OOOOOOHHHHH!! The Purple SHOES!" She turned around to me and grinned.
I pushed her to the kids shoes. There were two pair of Shayna shoes left- each in pink. "Oh, PLEASE Lord" I prayed under my breath. The first pair - size 12. CRAP. The second pair - size 8!! HOORAY!
Moo, look! Its The Purple Shoes in PINK! What do you think?"
"OOhh! Pintk! Pintk!"
We left the store with Moo happily wearing The Pintk Shoes purchased at a moderate price. And, perhaps, Mommy had on some new plastic shoes as well.