Friday, August 14, 2009

The Cool Shoes

It was the Sunday evening of tax-free weekend, and somehow I managed to get out of the house on my own and travel to Wal-Mart to see if I could pick up Caleb's preschool supplies and perhaps a clothing item or two (if the price was right). I did have a pair of shoes in mind for Caleb after seeing them at the Wal-Mart in Kalamazoo (yes, I went to Wal-Mart several times on my vacation)! :o)

As I walked through the kids shoe aisle, I noticed a young mom with her son, trying on a pair or two. I looked to see which ones they were looking at, and I'm pretty sure they were the same kind that I wanted to buy for Caleb. Since the aisle was full, I pushed my cart to the next one where the girl shoes were located. But I was close enough to overhear what the mom said to the boy.

"Now we're going to keep these shoes in a box in your closet, and if I hear you complaining about [such and such...I don't remember what she specifically said] we are going to take your COOL PUMA SHOES away and you will have to wear these not-so-cool shoes."

For a moment, I think my heart skipped a beat. I'm not sure if I was mad, frustrated, embarrased, who knows. I do know that I felt something.

I thought to myself, "So if my children were around her children, they would know for sure that my kids had not-so-cool shoes on. Not because THEY would have thought it on their own, but they were TOLD so."


I did not buy those shoes that night. That comment did not keep me from buying them, but I have to admit, it was really hard to hear for some reason. It was upsetting that a child was already being taught that something was cool or not as determinded by the name brand or where it was purchased. As I've shared before, my kids have lived in hand-me-downs their entire lives. When I do find something new, it's like these shoes I'm writing about for only $10.

So I'm still trying to digest that experience. It makes school uniforms (no name brand allowed) at a priavate, Christian school all that much more appealing.


Ashley said...

How sad. I'm with you on the uniformed, private, Christian school...or maybe just my kitchen table........hmmmmm

Tina said...

Wow- just wow! Really?! (Ryan has a green pair of these shoes that are very similar- and I think they are cool!)
(and I must say that my children will be in public school and i do not teach them to think this way - sometimes something is cool because it is blue, because it has batman on it or a cardinal - Ryan does not love the NIKE check, etc - I don't think he knows the difference - I must confess that I buy name brand clothes when they cost the same at Marshalls as the walmart brand because they last longer- but my son has also been known to tell people when they tell him how cool his clothes re that mommy got them from a yardsale or they came in the clothes bag from _______'s house- )
I still just can't believe this woman said that - and a punishment is having to wear not - cool clothes/shoes/etc?! What kind of lesson is that??????

Deanne Smallwood-Thomas said...

that is just terrible. that's the kind of thing that messes kids up! a lot of people (myself included) have psychological problems from not having the "cool shoes". and why? it's so unnecessary. i often wonder where kids get this from, and i guess it's from parents like this. kids are tough on each other, and that's a fact of life. but i can't believe they would be actively TAUGHT that by parents who are more childish than the kids. as long as you teach caleb that those shoes are perfectly "cool" and nobody else can tell him what to think, i think he'll be just fine. don't worry, he'll never be one of "those kids"---his parents are too great.

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