.... and purchased a pair of crocs sandals for Anya.
Before I had kids (and even during those times when Anya had arrived but have yet to master the skill of walking and thus do not require footwear), I always sneered at these sandals, christening them as Ronald McDonald's shoes. I will confide in The Husband how I wonder why almost every children we come across seemed to own at least a pair of 'those aesthetically-offensive things' - so common that it almost looked as if it was Singapore's uniform footwear for kids under the age of twelve. I mean, I know Crocs' footwear are really durable, comfy, light and safe (rubbery anti-slip soles!)- I myself own a pair of Crocs mary-janes from the time I was pregs with Anya and I'm still wearing them today. But they are mary-janes, not the famous Crocs' big-head sandals design. I believed at some point, I even swore to The Husband that I would never subject our children to the humiliation of wearing those 'clown shoes'.
Anya's first pair of casual footwear was a pair of pre-walking sandals from FOX. It came in a pretty matted gold colour and complements her chubby feet nicely. After 3-4 months of wear and tear, they are no longer pretty. The sides are badly scratched, the gold colour has given way to shades of dirt grey and black. And the velcro straps no longer secure well. Not to mention also that she is likely to outgrow them in matter of weeks.
So, about three weeks ago, we embarked on a search for her next pair of sandals. As it turns out, looking for a pair of suitable sandals for a toddler is an uphill task.
Generally, I minimize pink and cartoon characters when it comes to dressing up Anya. Instead, I prefer to expose her to the whole array of colours as well as patterns such as polkadots and stripes. It seems that sandals in the market (at least in the limited places that we shopped at) were predominantly pink in colour or comes with Dora / Kitty / Barbie stamped on them. So those were out. What were left amongst the minority were eliminated due to reasons such as comfort (soles too hard or heavy, blisters magnets etc), ease of wearing (buckled straps and hyperactive toddlers simply do not go well), sizing (either too big or too small) and pricing ($100 for a pair of sandals that she's gonna wear for a mere 3-4 months?!?!).
There was also the circumstantial conditions whenever we go shopping to consider. In order to ensure suitability, I have to bring Anya along to try on the shoes. I, myself, am now a waddling big-bellied pregnant woman who will straining in backache should I stand for more than 30 seconds. It is next to impossible to send The Husband to go shopping for footwear for our daughter. I dread to even muster up my imagination as to what he will come back with. When we do go shopping, it is usually for teeny pockets of time in between settling a meal and doing grocery-shopping or attending church. As you can see, we really do not have that much time for shopping to begin with.
Reflecting on my personal experience, it gradually dawned on me why Crocs sandals is our unofficial national footwear for age 12 and below. The beauty of Crocs sandal are becoming glaringly clear to me. The ease of wearing and taking off, the lightness of the material, the safety of their anti-slip soles, the comfort and durability. They are godsend goodness for parents of young children! And so, along with my harsh criticisms of these sandals, I ate the humble pie and concede they are indeed suitable casual footwear for kiddos.
One thing I still cannot agree on, though, is the price-tag that comes with the sandals. I really hate to spend $60 for a pair of .. erm.. ugly but adorable sandals that my child will outgrow in a couple of months. Especially since her last pair of sandals was picked up at a clearance sale for a mere $4. So, I went online in search for a pair of size 6/7 pre-loved Crocs sandals and was happy to lock in a deal at $15.
Conclusion? Anya is very pleased with her 'new' sandals while I am glad that the sandals shopping days are over. At least for now.