Friday, June 09, 2006


I never really thought much about shoes until I became a preschool teacher. Now I'm tying, arguing about, finding, and being kicked by shoes 5 days a week, 6 hours a day. Tying shoes gets old but when you do it 100 times a day you get pretty good at it. Finding shoes is usually no big deal because they're most often in somebody's cubby. Being kicked by them hurts and I have the bruises to prove it. It's the arguing about putting on the shoes that really bugs me. I've gotten to the point where I pretty much go on autopilot when a child starts whining about putting on their shoes. But one conversation with a particular child (we'll call him "P") about his shoes almost sent me over the edge today. I walked by him in the small block area and for some reason his shoes were off. Here's the conversation from beginning to end:

Time: 8:00am

Me: P go put your shoes on.
P: Why?
Me: Because we have to wear shoes at school.
P: Oh, okay. *walks over to his cubby and picks up his ONE PAIR of shoes that he has* These ones Miss Jen?
Me: Yes, those ones P.
P: But I don't like these ones.
Me: They are the only ones you have, put them on please.
P: But...
Me: Put them on P.
P: Okay. *he sits down on the floor* Do I have to put them on?
Me: Yes you have to put them on.
P: Do I have to unstrap them?-(they're velcro)
Me: Yes you have to unstrap them.
P: Both shoes?
Me: Yes both shoes.
P: Which one first?
Me: It doesn't matter, whichever one you want.
P: Okay. *unstraps both shoes* Do I have to keep my socks on?
Me: Yes you have to keep your socks on.
P: But I don't like socks.
Me: Oh. Put your shoes on.
P: Toes first?
Me: Yes toes first.
P: Okay. *puts one shoe on* Okay, I'm done now.
Me: You have to put the other one on.
P: Why?
Me: Because.
P: Oh. Okay. *sits down and picks up his other shoe* My shoes are black Miss Jen.
Me: Yes I know.
P: But I don't like black.
Me: Oh. Put your shoe on.
P: My feet don't want to be in black shoes so I'll just take the other one off.
Me: Leave your shoe on and put the other one on the other foot.
P: But they don't like black.
Me: That's nice. Put your shoes on.
P: *sigh* okay. *puts the other shoe on*
Me: Thank you, you can go play now.

Time: 8:04am Fast forward 6 minutes to 8:10am.

I walk by P in the small block area again and his shoes are off.

Me: P, where are your shoes?
P: My toes didn't like the dark so I took them off.
Me: Go put your shoes on.
P: The same ones?
At that point I almost lost it with this kid. He is a little out there as far as reading social cues-(like when your teacher is talking through her teeth in a very stern voice, it isn't a good thing.) But my patience was almost nill by the time his shoes were on his feet for good.

I swear, in 20 years you're all going to be watching the evening news and you're going to see me, outside of my daycare center, having a bonfire with children's shoes while mumbling crazy things about how shoes were developed by a teacher hating parent. Watch for me....I'll wave.


Blogger Judy said...

Eeks! I have a hard enough time with the two boys here and their shoes - can't imagine with TONS of kids and their footwear issues! Good luck!

4:00 PM  
Blogger Library Lady said...

Years ago at story hour I used to have a whole crew of little girls who would take their shoes off at the beginning of the program, and then I would have to reunite shoes and owners at the end. And I find myself regularly leaning over to tie shoes--sometimes in the middle of a story!

Butthe battles at home ARE worse. Right now my 7 year old is going through her periodic "I don't like my shoes--I want new ones" phase."

4:40 PM  
Blogger Bone said...

I found the conversation cute and humorous. But I guess it would be different if I dealt with it all day every day. Or, ever :)

10:27 PM  

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