How can identical twins be so unbelievably non-identical when it comes to shoe shopping? It's a mystery to me and the once favoured activity of buying not one but two pairs of fabulous girls shoes is turning into a nightmare.
I thought I was prepared for the summer in Israel as I had bought several pairs of bargain sandals online earlier in the year. As the days started to get hotter and sunnier I even remember saying to dh "We won't have any issues with sandals this summer as between the 2 girls we have 8 pairs." This was a big mistake.
The cheap shoes didn't last very long and in fact only A was prepared to wear them. E found them uncomfortable. As the soles came apart from the shoes I could hear my Mum's voice in my head saying "Cheap's dear". Seemingly overnight their feet grew and now the sandals that had been bought towards the end of last summer were too small.
Then one day I found myself in the situation that from the original huge variety of shoes, E was only prepared to wear the lovely white Clarke's sandals that had belonged to eldest daughter even though the sole was flapping underneath and A was wearing flip flops for nursery. That afternoon I decided to rectify the situation and took them to my local favourite kids shoe shop. There was a great variety of sandals and after we checked their size and got a few boxes out with different styles, A chose a pair of sandals that she was very happy with. I then turned my attention to E, but this is when the differences began.
Every single pair she tried on were lumpy, too big, too small, uncomfortable, ugly, disgusting, yuk. A got bored of waiting and started rolling around the floor and shouting. The owners of the shop tried to talk E round to choosing a pair, but after an hour long session I was defeated and we left with sandals for A and E still wearing her older sister's worn out pair.
The next day, I tried another shop but the same game was played and so we left. I found myself saying things like "wow you look so grown up in those" and "come on these gold sandals with pictures of bugs on them really are so smart" but nothing could convince her. And why was she doing that funny walk when she tried them on where her knees just kind of buckled? In the 3rd shop I firmly told E that if she didn't find a pair of sandals then she really would just have to wear the breaking pair or flip flops all summer. She finally chose a pair of sandals and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
However, within a week they broke!
We returned them and she tried on every other pair again, but we left the shop with me carrying her shoeless and with a credit note. We ended up back in the first local favourite shop again with a smaller selection this time, but a miracle did occur after around 40 minutes and she got a pair of sandals.
This week I took the girls to buy party shoes and I went to the shop where we had the credit note. There must have been about 30 choices of shoe in their size. I braced myself for the experience. We found a very patient shop assistant who helped us. Within 10 minutes A had chosen a pair that she was delighted with - slip on party shoes and she clutched the box tight to her chest and went to join Boy in the Middle (watching you tube in the corner) while we turned our attention again to E.
"What colour dress is she wearing for the party" the shop assistant asked.
"Silvery and blue" I replied "but it doesn't matter if the shoes don't match. She just needs something, anything to wear on her feet."
Once again, each pair was uncomfortable, too big, too small. E kept claiming "I have big feet you know."
At one point I pulled out a pair of sparkly gold Hello Kitty pumps with a strap that looked kind of partyish that I thought we could get away with, but they were horrible apparently and in her words "No, yuk they do annoy". She tried on black shoes, pink shoes, as the time ticked by I wouldn't have cared if she had chosen luminous green trainers or wellington boots instead. My patience was wearing thin. Her siblings were getting hungry. The shop assistant whilst remaining polite and friendly was rather unimpressed as we were taking more and more pairs of shoes out of boxes to try on. At one point she fetched her the cut off ends of tights in order to try and make the shoes feel comfier. And then as we had tried on every single pair and I once again threatened that she would just have to go to the party in flip flops, she said "If I choose a pair can I choose a Ben and Holly episode to watch on your phone on the way home".
"Of course you can darling, anything!"
Then I'll take this pair she said.
It must be pointed out that the pair she finally chose were silvery/grey, almost identical to the pair that her sister had chosen 40 minutes earlier.
Before she could change her mind, I thanked the sales assistant and ran to the till.
And now I just hope that they will both actually manage to wear them on Sunday evening for the party and that they won't fall apart next week.