About those shoes and socks

socksI’m a nut about my kids wearing socks.  I also expect them to wear “real” shoes outside.  My kids find this frustrating.

The shoe thing is serious.  After seeing construction guys drop rusty nails and broken glass all over the yard, it’s non-negotiable.  I won’t let neighbor kids run around in our yard without “real” shoes either.

(that’s upset some adults, right up until i hand them the shrapnel from my yard.  i haven’t had much push-back since one of the kids got stitches in his foot.)

I expect real shoes.

Real shoes don’t include flip flops or thongs – I want my kids’ toes protected.  I also want them in shoes that let them run at full speed, ride their bikes, and kick soccer balls on a whim.

(if this seems like a weird topic for January, remember that I live in Texas.  The high today is close to 70.  shoes and socks feel pretty optional, just like jackets.  hats and gloves aren’t even in the picture, although we do own them.  but if if helps, the story applies equally well to hats and gloves and scarves.)

We own slip on rubbery shoes, even though my husband doesn’t want us to.  He doesn’t view them as real shoes.  He’d prefer them in hunting boots on a daily basis.

I’m OK with the brightly colored rubber shoes much of the time.  It’s perfect in the summer when they are in and out of the water all day.  It speeds up the whole getting dressed and out the door thing when the kids aren’t in school.  (our school has banned all open toed or open heeled shoes – including the rubbery ones.)   

It’s a compromise, but it works most of the time.

In the winter months, I expect socks.

I want them worn in the house.  I want them worn inside the rubber shoes.  I’m totally OK with my kids walking around the house sock-footed.

Our entire downstairs is tiled.  No carpet.  And, this being Texas, there’s no radiant heat under the tile.  They are NOT warm and cozy on bare feet.  The tiles are normally about ten degrees cooler than the house.  That rocks in the summer heat, but not so much in the winter time.

So up until Christmas, I’ve been the sole enforcer of the sock police.  (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun.)

I’m also the primary enforcer of the jacket patrol, the you-need-long-pants police, and the ever popular that-doesn’t-match-what-were-you-thinking patrol.

In a house full of boys, it’s a thankless job.

Even my husband gets policed from time to time.

(no honey, khaki and grey do not work together.  try again.)

Over Christmas, I gave up.

I decided to let the boys experience some logical consequences.  They’re smart kids and they are capable of learning.  As part of the compromise, I retain the right to enforce school dress code and pick what they were for church, fancy dinners, and photographic sessions.

Today, my youngest son dressed himself in camouflage thermal underwear bottoms, red rubbery shoes, an orange t-shirt, and a blue hoodie.  Period.  (note the missing pants and socks).

While the high today may be 70, it’s about 45 outside this morning.

When GoGo decided to go outside, I questioned him about the lack of pants.

Mommy, these ARE pants.

Before I could explain, his brother helped me out.

GoGo, those are underwear.  You wear them UNDER pants.

The logic was classic.

But they are OVER my underwear.

Since you can’t tell, I decided to let it pass for now.  Besides, I happen to know that thermal underwear are NOT warm unless they have something over them.  On their own, they’re a bit… breezy.

But still, I’m the mom.

I wanted to nag him about socks.  I wanted to suggest a hat.  But I’m settling on silence because my kids just chose to go play outside instead of laying in bed watching cartoons this morning.  They also chose eggs over sugar laden cereal.  And he put the jacket on without prompting.

Less than five minute passed before GoGo returned.

I think I need some socks… and maybe some pants.

My job here is done.

(i’m choosing to ignore that the socks don’t match each other.)

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thishappymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_0036.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination  for eggs, socks, and books.  She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family.  She serves an amazing God.   She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. {Kathy} Love it! Right on! Kids learn so much faster when we let them get a little “cold” and uncomfortable.
    I personally hate socks, no matter what time of year. They are actually banned here (Florida) in the Summer.
    They just make me crazy….

    • I broke my foot a few years back and the cold from the tiles is still enough to make my foot ache. So personally, I leave socks by the side of my bed. But I recognize my kids don’t have that same problem. I don’t push the sock issue in the summer, but I do keep a few pairs in the car. That way they can stay sock footed for indoor play-scapes or the odd trip to the bowling alley.

  2. 🙂 I have a fun suggestion – get (buy or borrow) a metal detector or several of them. Have a shrapnel scavenger party. Make sure the well-shod children scour the yard for every trace of scrap metal, then return them all to you for a reward. I suggest:

    Most Scrap Scrapped Properly (by # of items, weight, volume, whatever)

    Most Valuable Bit of Scrap Metal

    Pointiest (or Rustiest) Piece

    Most Intriguing Shape

    You get the idea. Do make sure everyone’s had a Tetanus shot before they’re allowed to play.

    • That’s actually a great idea. It won’t work for the glass shards, but it should work for anything else. 🙂 Very cool.

  3. I absolutely agree that thongs or flip-flops are not shoes. When my husband was stationed in Hawaii, he loved to come home and slip out of the military-mandated boots and “let his feet air” in thongs. Then came the day when, walking down the beach wearing thongs, he stepped down on top of a jagged rusty spike buried in the sand. Thirty-seven stitches later (and, thankfully, a move to Kansas), he refuses to wear thongs and now helps me wrestle our pre-teen into Real Shoes, too!

    • Yikes! I can’t imagine how that would have hurt. Stitches and feet don’t sound like a good combination. No wait… stitches are always bad, no matter where they are!

  4. Nice article. I love kids’ logic. That makes perfect sense that the camouflage thermal underwear are actually pants since they are covering the other underwear. 🙂

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