Toddler's feet grow at an amazing rate. Luckily, the price of their shoes is (fairly) low, or we'd be broke just buying shoes. The fact that we provide Charlotte an average of 5 pairs of shoes in any one size is completely beside the point. In her current size (a whopping 4--which is barely big enough to merit real rubber soles according to some manufacturers), she's got tennis shoes, brown loafer/boots, her red Cheerio Stompers, and a pair of black velvet dress shoes (a Christmas present from her aunt and uncle, who spoil her more than we do on occaision). She also has a pair of Speedo water shoes, but they're a 5-6 (the smallest size they come).
We'd been noticing that her current pair of tennis shoes ($5 on clearance at Walmart) were running a little tight at the toes, and actually had some time on our hands last night, so we went shoe shopping. There's a nice Skechers store not too far from us, where they have adorable kids shoes. The prices don't compete with the Walmart clearance rack, but the quality's better. We headed over after dinner last night.
Charlotte loved shoe shopping. Luckily there was only one other customer in the place, or it would have been a bit less fun. She had a blast opening up shoe boxes, and running off with their contents with that "catch-me-if-you-can" giggle. My husband and I split shopping and herding duties. We did manage to wiggle her Cheerio Stompers off long enough to measure her feet--she's a little over a 4, just like we thought. He actually found an adorable pair of tennis shoes on the clearance rack in a 5. There were several styles of sandals in diminutive boxes, as well. White sandals are great for little girls because they double for summer dress shoes so nicely. I found one pair that have led's on the sides that light up when she walks. M. found a pair with embroidered flowers on top, but the smallest they had was a 6 in those.
As bedtime fast approched, Charlotte's giggles and wiggles turned to squirms and grimaces, and she threw a temper tantrum when I had the nerve to remove the sandals I was trying on her. Did I mention that she likes shoes? I got to contain the screaming child while M. paid for her shoes (including the size 6 ones...probably for mid to late summer). She then screamed nearly the entire way home.
When Evanescence finally came up on the MP3 player's shuffle, Charlotte calmed down. That has worked since she was a newborn. She used to scream every time I put her in the car, but half a song into the Evanescence CD and she'd be calm or asleep. I think it helped that I listened to their music several times a week driving to and from work when she was still in-utero, and attended their concert a week before she was born (we sat in the pit of all places...luckily the crowds were fairly mellow).
There was a final tantrum when we got home and actually pulled the shoes out of the bag. She insisted on wearing the bigger sandals and then demanded to go down to the basement playroom. It was bedtime, though, and I'm stronger and know the magic rituals that calm her down and get her sleeping most nights (a little mommy milk doesn't hurt either).