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I can’t believe that we are looking at Grade THREE in the face for Gemma. I think it is the year when my own childhood school memories start to become clear. We better all be on our game from now on, because the kids are going to remember this stuff!
Unlike what I recall from when I was in third grade, Gemma and her buddies are on the move all day long. They have classes in other rooms with many different teachers and are outside a lot. I am pretty sure it was not until much later in my school career that we changed classrooms during the day. I know I never learned violin nor the recorder. Never ever, let alone in the third grade. Add all those to tennis and art and singing lessons and Spanish and… I need a personal assistant to manage my kid’s busy schedule. During the school year, her feet hit the floor in the morning and they hardly stop moving until bedtime.
Another thing that is very different for Gemma versus how I grew up is that we get to walk to and from school. I love that. No waiting for a school bus and only driving when I just can’t get my act together in time or it is raining. It is at least a kilometer (a little bit over half a mile, for my American childhood self) each way and I just feel like the walking and talking we do during that time is parenting magic. I get her attention away from the distractions of home and school yard and neither of us feels like it is exercise.
I thought that I was busy and on the go, but it took a three day pedometer challenge to make me see that Gemma is as well! She even beat me on the first day!
Here are our results:
Day One Gemma :: 22,042 steps / Mom :: 14,996 steps
Day Two Gemma :: 06,543 steps / Mom :: 13,754 steps
Day Three Gemma :: 11,428 steps / Mom :: 13,165 steps
One thing I noticed is that while I am fairly consistent, Gemma does wildly different levels of activity every day. But that does not really matter when you think about it this way…If her gait is average 1⁄2 a meter between steps, she walked a rough total of 11 kilometers on day one. ELEVEN KMS. As parents, can we just imagine telling our kids that we are going to walk 11 kilometers on purpose? Mine would immediately fake a broken leg or something.
While the kids may choose to wear sneakers to school as part of their uniform, with all her performing in the choir and excursions, I would love to see Gemma in a pair of proper black leather Mary Jane school shoes this coming year. We had never taken Gemma for a school shoe fitting before, just buying the next size up of whatever brand we found only when she told us her toes were getting squished. Before this, I was not even sure where we could have a proper fitting done. I was surprised and thrilled to learn that The Athlete’s Foot doesn’t just work with adult runners, but they find the perfect fit for kids’ school shoes too. While I was in there, I could not help, but spy a few pairs of cool runners for myself! They even have footy shoes coming soon for when Kieran starts playing in a year!
Gemma and I met The Athlete’s Foot Fit Technician, Patrick, at our local The Athlete’s Foot store (Southland) and were so impressed with the time he took to fit Gemma and explain it all. She was not only measured on the traditional metal foot sizer (that is something that has not changed since I was a child), but Patrick got her on the Fitprint® analyzer and was able to see the type of arch she has and where she puts the most weight as she stands and walks. This information, Patrick explained, made it clear to him the kind of support she would need in her shoes.
We tried on the first brand, Ascent, and while Gemma said they were comfortable, Patrick watched her walking in them and noticed that they seemed a bit wide for her foot. The store happened to be out of the Clarks brand in her size, so we decided to come back a week later when we could try both on.
When we returned, Patrick did not even need the size card he prepared for us at the first visit. He remembered us and got Gemma trying on both brands right away. The choice was clear, the Clarks were a slimmer fit and perfect for Gemma. She said they even felt better than her runners and I predict we will have a hard time getting her to wear anything else when school starts up again shortly.
We went home with the Clarks “Petite” and Patrick informed us that when buying shoes for kids, you should have at least a thumb width between the end of their toes and the end of the shoe to allow for growth (which they do WAY too quickly for my liking.)
I remember getting new school shoes as being a yearly highlight of my childhood. It was an event to go downtown with my mom to the shoe shop and get properly fitted. I now see why it was so important to my mother to do that for me. Kids should be comfortable at school. I know that as an adult, if I wear uncomfortable shoes all day long, I am crabby and in pain. I do not work to the best of my ability when I am crabby and in pain. It would be the same for Gemma.
Gemma will not have that problem now thanks to The Athlete’s Foot helping her find the perfect fit.
Check out The Athlete’s Foot range online here, or via their current catalogue for their range (here). I recommend that you get into a store early though to beat the “back to school oh my gosh they have grown again” rush! In fact, literally early as in when they first open or even the hour before closing as they will be least busy then. The Athlete’s Foot have over 130 stores Australia wide and you can find your closest one through their website.
The Athlete’s Foot have a $50 gift card for one of my readers – perfect if you’re also about to tackle the Back to School shopping. Just leave a comment below telling me about how active your kids are and why they need a correct fit! Please read the contest terms and conditions here.