Today was the first time I've had to buy three pairs of new school shoes - yeech! (For readers not in Scotland, yeech rhymes almost but not exactly with the German "ich"). I had an afternoon off today, and decided that it was better to get new shoes now, rather than wait until just before the new term and risk not finding the right sizes. I planned my battle campaign carefully - each boy took a Gameboy to help them sit patiently. Each was promised a Calypso ice-lolly at home if they behaved - but I would get it if they didn't!
It was a riot in Clarks', I tell you. Did the wee fella want to stand still and get his feet measured? Did he hell! I took a deep breath, flexed my flexible friend to ensure it wouldn't break, then just told them to pick anything they liked so long as it was black. Let's face it, Clarks' shoes aren't cheap - but the difference between "least" and "most" expensive wasn't going to be that great. At least they haven't been coerced into something they didn't like.
We returned home in under an hour - maybe shopping centres aren't as bad as I've always maintained. The parking is cheap, near the store, and the complex is only five minutes' from home. Better than a trip into town, anyway. No-one had blotted their copy-book, and there hadn't been a hint of my notorious tension headaches.
Having enjoyed a week's summer camp with one organisation, my oldest boy was booked to go on a different one later in the summer with a different group. Having been threatened with a "beating up", he (not surprisingly) doesn't want to go. Is this bullying, or isn't it?! You can encourage a kid to go to school and be brave - but why should he "be brave" when a holiday is meant to be something pleasurable and fun? He shouldn't. I thought you'd agree!