Perhaps it's because there are two of them or perhaps it's just because they are girls, but I've been wondering how at the tender age of 2 and 3/4, A and E seem to already have such a large shoe collection!
They have sandals, crocs, more sandals, slippers, sensible shoes from England suitable for colder days and more sandals.
Before we left England for sunnier climes, I picked up two pairs of identical sandals on sale, as living in a hot country I presumed we could never have too many pairs. They are the same size and I never felt the need to identify them for a specific child. We also acquired two pairs of crocs in their size from two different families and so we now own 4 identical small purple crocs.
When we arrived in our new house there was no obvious place to keep shoes near the front door so I found a drawer in the playroom in which to keep A and E's footwear collection. On an average day I ask them to go and get their shoes and put them on ready for nursery. They don't see it as a major challenge and only once have they chosen to go to nursery wearing slippers and twice have I taken them out for the whole day to find A wearing two matching shoes, only what she didn't realise was that she was wearing two identical left shoes!
In my wisdom as a twin Mummy I decided that they would always have their own shoes which would be named inside and generally they do. They both have their own pair of fitted sandals - pink for A and purple for E. However E will only wear hers with socks since they once got covered in mud (although they are now as clean as new). A tends to chose a different option according to her mood of the day or to match the colour of her T-shirt or sometimes she favours the 2nd hand pair that used to belong to oldest daughter.
If you were to come past my house any morning at around 7.30 you are likely to hear me calling out to Dh, oldest daughter, or to boy in the middle to help me find any two shoes that will result in a pair. Just as lone socks frequently go missing, finding two matching shoes seems to be my daily challenge. There usually tends to be one hiding under the sofa, one in the bathroom and occasionally some are discovered in the shoe drawer.
The other day we were heading out to the park and as we were on our way I noticed E was wearing two right crocs and so I ran back to get a spare left one. I think people were counting my toddlers in the park and looking for a three legged child as i sat on the bench as they played in the sand with 5 shoes next to me. It was even stranger when A's sandals got covered in mud and she ended up coming home barefoot and I was carrying 3 spare shoes.
And so it was this morning that I took A and E to nursery. They had proudly dressed themselves entirely. I took a look at them as we were walking into the nursery building - one of them had her T-shirt on back to front, one had her shorts on inside out and they both had their sandals on the wrong feet!
Negligent mother? Or the independence of my gorgeous individual toddler girls?!