We have a little tradition in last few weeks of the summer holidays, of making a little event of our school shoe shop. I usually take the children during the week when Mr T is at work to avoid the crowds. Though taking four children shoe shopping has the potential to be eventful any day!

Back To School Traditions – The School Shoe Shop

On Monday we headed to our local Clarks discount outlet. All the children need slim fitting shoes, and having shoes that fit nicely is so important, especailly when they wear them 5 days per week.

We had an early start as I needed to call at the hospital beforehand to have some blood taken. I dont really like needles, but its easier going with the children because I dont want them to see me afraid.

On our way to the hospital we gave Mr T a lift into work, and we gave our next door neighbour a lift into town. It was a good excuse to apologise to her too. (We are chicken-sitting and the chickens had chosen that morning to be extra noisy)

I expected the hospital to be quite busy, but it was quiet. The children were a bit disappointed as it ment less time playing in the toy corner. The nurse’s gave them a chocolate for being good, which was really kind and made their morning – not like they dont get chocolate at home!

The last time I visited the hospital for blood taking, Ava was around 8 months old. I had carried her inside, and the nurse offered to hold her for safety. This time I took the Tula we had borrowed from our sling library to hold her on my front while I had the bloods taken. I was hoping they would be okay with that, as she is quick to explore and she would probably have loved to explore the room!

A few people at the hospital commented on the childrens good behavior, which made me feel very proud, and the receptionist stopped us to say we had a lovely family. Usually strangers say I have my hands full, which is true, but I will never really know if they mean it in a positive way!

We made it all the way to the car before we discovered that everyone needed the tolilet, so had to go back inside again. It wasnt wasted though because we got to chat to the childrens Nanna (Mr T’s Mum) who works on one of the wards.

Our next stop was the outlet, and the bathroom (again) before heading to Clarks. The lady who helped us was professional, knowledgable and went out of her way to help. We bought her a mini box of chocolates before we left the outlet to say an extra big thank you.

We bought 7 pairs in total! School shoes and indoor pumps for the eldest three, and a new pair of shoes for Ava. Amy was delighted with her first pair of school shoes, and her smile spread from ear to ear!

A Visit to Thorntons

On our first visit school shoe shop a few years ago, we recieved a voucher for a Thorntons ice-cream. Every year since we have visited Thorntons for an ice-cream after buying our school shoes, its a bit of a tradition. The children remember and ask about the ice-cream every year, without fail.

At the cafe, this year only Lily chose an ice-cream, James and Amy wanted a chocolate brownie. I bought a strawberry ice-cream milkshake for the children to share and I had a delicious white hot chocolate.

As we stood up to leave I put Ava back on my back in to Tula. A lady stood up to help me put Ava in the carrier as we were leaving, but I had already her fastened in. She looked impressed that Ava was so relaxed on my back! The same lady commented on how I had my hands full, but said the children were a credit to me. It’s always lovely to hear someone thinks your doing well, especually as shopping on my own with four littles takes a lot of patience!




Our two good deeds for the day were giving our neighbour a lift into town, and going out of our way to say thank you to the lady in Clarks. The children told Mr T later in the day and I am glad they remembered. Although we bought a gift for the lady in Clarks, kindness costs nothing and can brighten someones day. All the kind comments we received brightened our day too!




James taking the opportunity to tickle Lily!


Say Cheese. Ava tapped the wall and said ‘cheese’ to let me know she wanted me to take this photo!