Friday, January 11, 2008

Feet and Shoes

Kelsy posted a blog about Sweetpea's 2-year medical check-up. She's been proclaimed perfectly healthy by her doctor! During the check-up, Kelsey took the opportunity to ask the doctor about Sweetpea's rather high instep; the doctor confirmed her perception, and told her to make sure Sweetpea's everyday shoes have a good arch support. Sadly, Kelsey has found that Sweetpea's little foot tends to bulge out the top of most Mary Janes. And what little girl (or little girl's mama) doesn't love Mary Janes?! Chris' solution, according to Kelsey, was, "She'll need to just wear one pair of shoes with everything." Chris, Chris, Chris. She's a G-I-R-L!

Cute little Mary Janes

All of this sounds way too familiar to me. I guess Sweetpea may have inherited something more than blue eyes from me! I still struggle to find shoes that fit properly (uh-huh, high instep).

But all this talk of feet and shoes reminds me of my dad. When I was a child my Dad held firmly to two closely related opinions: 1) a child must wear very good shoes to avoid foot problems later in life, and 2) saddle shoes were the only very good shoes for children.

Good-for-the-feet Saddle Shoes

I would beg my dad to let me wear something other than saddle shoes, and he'd say, "We'll see." But when we got to the shoe store, he'd ask the shoe fitter (making sure I was listening), "Now, what do you recommend as the best shoes for a child's feet?" And I would cringe, because, as if there was some huge conspiracy, every shoe fitter would reply, "Saddle shoes."

So, I was left with choosing between black-and-white saddle shoes, brown-and-white saddle shoes, all white saddle shoes, all black saddle shoes (sometimes they came in suede) or, for a brief period in the '50s, pink-and-white saddle shoes.

Not only did the shoes have to be saddle shoes, but they had to fit perfectly, according to my dad's healthy-foot theory . . . which led, ironically, to the grand finale of the shoe-shopping process - sticking my feet into the shoe-fitting x-ray device!

You don't know about these machines? You can read about them here.

[In truth, I only remember doing the shoe-fitting x-ray device a time or two, thank goodness! They weren't that common by the time I was of school age. Not sure if I was exposed to them in my earlier years, as a baby or toddler. . . Maybe I don't really want to know.]


Anonymous said...

Wow! Do I remember saddle shoes! Was there another choice? But, I don't remember the x-ray
thing.......I'll have to ask my mom about that! Thanks for the chuckle about the shoes.......Genie

Kelsey said...

So many choices! I mean black, brown, suede even; I don't know what you're complaining about :)

I personally can't wait for the never ending gripefests about why Clara can't wear flip flops all the time like all of her friends.

At least I have Chris backing me up on that one. He HATES flip flops with a passion. He cringes when I put them on. Even before the high arch thing, I felt they were bad for kids feet, but now I'm really convinced she won't wear them all the time.

Grandma said...

You know, I may be mistaken, but I don't ever remember either of the boys wearing flip-flops. Every summer they got a new pair of Salt Water Sandals, which worked great at the beach. But no flip-flops (which, by the way, we called "thongs" back in my younger days - now that word carries a completely different meaning!).

Kelsey said...

Flip flops have really only become popular everyday footwear in the last 7 or 8 years probably. I know they weren't in style when I was in high school or college (but I guess that's been longer than I'd like to think so I probably shouldn't compare current fashions with those back in my day).

Now the youngest kiddos wear them. I've even seen toddler sized open back shoes. I have problems keeping those things on; I don't know how a toddler could do it.

Linda said...

Ahh, but Kelsey, this is the SECOND heyday for flip-flops (or thongs as we used to call them). The "California Surfer" culture of the '60s made them popular in my high school years. The Beachboys even sang about them:

Sittin' in my car outside your house
(Sittin' in my car outside your house)
'Member when you spilled coke all over your blouse

T-shirts, cut-offs, and a pair of thongs

We've been having fun all summer long

[and it goes on from there . . .]

But, I'll grant you that they weren't worn with sequined gowns, as I've seen happen these days!

I'm glad Clara won't be wearing them as her everyday shoes :-) You're such a good mama!

Anonymous said...

I remember the foot x-ray machine in the shoe store. I think I only used it once when I was 7 or 8. I remember saddle shoes but I didn't think there was any other choices for children back then. Kathy C.

Linda said...

Kathy, your dad (or mom) had you brainwashed, too! Ha! :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh no! I'm starting to feel some nagging doubts...I never had to wear "saddles". Maybe my folks didn't REALLY love me...or maybe I was sadly neglected??? I remember my best friend had to wear them for a while and I was somewhat envious for a bit... but only for a bit..because all she ever got was the "black and whites" and they kinda reminded me of those black and white cows... Holsteins...ya know?

And besides that, I NEVER even heard of that foot x-ray contraption!! WOW!! So the point is...

My husband, Ken, really is great at what he AEDs... automatic external defibrillators...but in the early years of HP he was marketing x-ray machines (no..not for feet..for the government etc.) and like all great marketing folks..or inventors..he is always "looking" for that next great thing that we will all need...or THINK that we need. I THINK THIS COULD BE IT!! Think of all of us Baby Boomers who DID have their feet x-rayed and thus every morning, noon, and night are examining their feet because they are ultra paranoid thinking there is a new spot, wart, bunion, corn, hammer toe, broken arch, etc. etc. And how wise of them to worry.

I must run now....time to go help Ken with his latest infommercial which markets his new "Toe Paste" (not to be confused with toe jam) promising that applied three times a day even the least or most foot x-rayed Baby Boomer can avoid unsightly foot and toe problems, including mutant toenails and glow-in-the dark spots and issues.

Watch for it on late night TV (doesn't anything look good on those IF it gets late enough?).

Linda, just and me...HAVE your toes or toenails started mutating? Nothing to be ashamed of now. I will send you a free trial tube of "the paste". No...really...consider it a BD present.

(That foot blog was GREAT, Linda! Still shaking my head in amazement.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda and Hi G. R____r. Yes, I have figured out who you are. I have a hard time picturing your children grown up and having kids of their own though. I'm not too close in age to your children......I'm 33. I do believe I babysat for y'all (been living in the south too long!) one time!


Anonymous said...

As Linda's Mama, I have to speak up in defense of the saddle shoes she had to wear. We really did think that they were the best that one could put on children's feet. Linda, when you were a baby, after you started to walk, you ALWAYS wore shoes that laced up and came above your ankles. I put cute socks and turned them down to the shoe tops would not show. But, anyone with any brains knew you had to protect your children's ankles as they were growing, or they would have problems as they grew. I don't know how kids today manage with cute Mary-Janes, or flip flops. Nanny

Lucy said...

they are beautiful