Thursday, 5 September 2013

My Shoe Epiphany...


When most people think of large families, they usually think the obvious: busy, fun, chaotic, noisy and expensive. Yes, they are certainly all those things! 
What people often don't consider is that commonplace things can take on new heights too. I had never really given thought to just how much the ordinary things have become extraordinary in our lives. Perhaps it is because the extraordinary is just ordinary here.
My son Joaquin couldn't find one of his thongs on Sunday, so I prompted him to empty a giant tub of shoes on our balcony to have a good hunt for it. Well he did that and more!
He was ultimately unsuccessful at locating his missing shoe but he did make a startling statement in the process:
We have a ton of shoes!
I returned to the balcony shortly after setting him on the lookout for his shoe to find this sculpture of family footwear, snaking a very long way around the balcony!
Joaquin had organised all the shoes into matching pairs. (There's no better choice of child to perform such a task - he's great at this stuff). His thong was not there. He had disappeared upstairs to the garage to check for it there. (Where another giant collection of family footwear resides).
Our garage footwear collection. This doesn't even cover what's kept in wardrobes and under beds.
We could open a store.
So how did it get like this?
When buying items like shoes, I try to limit what is required to the basics. For the boys that means one pair of school shoes, 1-2 pairs of sneakers (a black and white pair for example), thongs and Crocs for Summer and gumboots for Winter. I have a rule that requires any old footwear that is worn out to go directly into the bin. Obviously, my rule has been ignored and for some time!
I do pass shoes down through the boys if they are relatively new. This can cause problems too. I can't keep track of the 100's of sets of footwear 'on hold' and end up buying doubles of things when I had a perfectly fitting pair on the rack ready for the next child. It seriously troubles my brain trying to cope with the enormity of everything!
It's not just the shoes that have got out of hand either. There are 8 people in our family but when I count the toothbrushes in the bathroom, there are around 16! I am not sure how this came about. Asking for an explanation is met with at least five little "I don't know" responses. As they all appear to be new, (the toothbrushes), I have turned a blind eye to the problem and hope like Hell Dad knows what he is doing at bath time. (Let's face it - he has no idea either - even less than me no doubt)!
Towels are another thing again. Logic suggests 8 people, 8 towels? No! There are again mysterious extras. I have a sneaking hunch that the daughter's responsible but she denies it each and every time a new one appears.
Cups, plates and bowls: a dishwasher full of them lightning fast but only 5 kids using them?
Whole packets of 16 biscuits disappear in 2 minutes despite the one only rule. 
Things just don't add up around here, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

What chaotic things happen in your household?
Do you house an enormous collection of everyday things when there should only be a few?
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  1. That's so true! I'm a sucker for buying shoes for me and my girl and there's so many around. I really can't bear to throw/ give away the ones she's outgrown too though as they are so cute and remind me of her tiny tiny feet last time!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    1. I understand that! I kept my eldest daughter's tiny shoes all these 13 years with 4 boys between the girls - just because those shoes were so sweet I couldn't part with them! Just as well now too as I am sure to save big $ having done so!

  2. We have only 3 children in this house of chaos but like you have a massive bucket of shoes on the deck! Actually, I think my husband is the worst offender.

    1. Yes, I am pretty sure there's an awful lot of man-sized shoes lurking in the tub. What is it with men and 50 pairs of similar, dull sneakers?!

  3. YES shoes in EVERY room. I only have 2 girls but girls like shoes and change them often. It's genetic. also keep toothbrushes downstairs nxt to kitchen, in the car (we're always late for kindy), my handbag and their backpacks! Obsessed with dental hygiene much? Then there's the dollies & secret stash of bracelets in every room...

    1. LOL! My big daughter makes me buy her shoes which she then puts in her wardrobe which is massively untidy. She then forgets them and grows out of them! So annoying! Thank god she's got a baby sister to stretch the life of her possessions further.

  4. I love this post - I always complain when my hubby leaves his shoes in our lounge area. He is six foot six so his shoes are huge and we live in the inner city so our lounge is small! But your family take shoes to a whole new level! Thanks for posting! Money Mummy

  5. LOL Shelley! I have the same complaint with my husband! He's also over 6ft and those shoes become more like pieces of furniture when left lying about.
    We really should set up shop with this many pairs! :D

  6. This post made my day! I signed up to your feed a few weeks ago 1. because you write well and humour me and 2. because you make my mad bunch seem normal! hahaha
    I have 4 kids and about 20 toothbrushes!
    Liv x

    1. Thanks for the compliment and thanks so much for following my blog! I am so glad I make people feel good in that they aren't suffering as much as me! :D

    2. It's not always the kids in my house that are nuts, today I posted about my own embarrassing moments. I thought I was preggers (as is usually the case when I lose my mind) but NO, not this time. xo

  7. I think we have unnecessary multiples of pretty much everything we don't need. But never enough socks.

  8. I have the 'on hold' problem too, and not just with shoes, I do it with clothes too! I put stuff away in the garage, then buy new stuff and forget the old stuff is there, then when I pull it out I'm sad as I want the younger ones to wear it for sentimental reasons but they just have too much stuff!

  9. It must be a problem unique to large families! Our garage - that's another blog post in itself! FULL! :D

  10. What a great insight into a large family. And boy, is that not the most gorgeous look your little girl is giving her older brother? Someone adores someone!


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