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One Week.

It’s been one week since Flea went back to school.

In school terms, that’s five days.

The average school day runs for seven hours, from 8.30am to 3.30pm.

That’s 35 hours of school.

I’m guessing that at least three hours a day – or 15 hours a week – is spent sitting down writing or colouring, or whatever it is they do in primary schools these days.

Then there’s 30 minutes for lunch – 2.5 hours over a week.

Twice a week she changes into a jogging suit and trainers, for PE, which takes an hour a time. There’s another 2 hours.

So, riddle me this:

How the HELL do shoes that cost £40 a pair end up looking like this after what can only be (counts on fingers) 15 and a half hours of being worn by a five year old? 



Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

About The Author


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.


  1. Spudballoo

    Blimey…I think she’s releasing her ‘inner boy’….even my 5yo boy’s shoes look pristine compared with that (although I’m fairly sure his ‘inner girl’ has been playing a big part in that).
    You need the tuff scuff shoe polish stuff, or whatever it’s called. Put it on, no polishing, restores colour and shine immediately. Retire to sofa to drink wine. Job done.

  2. TheMadHouse

    The boys shoes have a rubber protector at the front, get the girl some boys shoes! I also advocate decent polish and then protection spray. OH and also get her cleaning her own everynight then she might think teice about scuffing them so much!

  3. Tasha (Coding Mamma)

    Rosemary’s aren’t far off. And I put the shoe protector stuff on and polish the damn things every few nights, though I think it will probably end up being every few weeks quite soon, and I’ll give up caring.

  4. se7en

    Oh it’s a five year old thing!!! One of my kiddo’s – who is so five, got a new pair of shoes… because even though he only wears them for an hour once a week to church of all things… I looked down one Sunday morning and his feet were spilling through enormous gaping holes… and his shoes were silver – I have never bought silver shoes ever. Turns out his shoes got badly rusted and I said ?huh – rusted?… moving on… and I asked “?silver? well because they were so badly rusted he wrapped them in duct tape – silver? I kid you not… So I got him some fresh shoes… and twenty minutes later his lovely leather boots looked far worse than your five your old offering… and he hadn’t even stepped out of the door… What is this shoe thing all about anyway!!!

  5. Hayley

    ROFL! Love it! At least they are being used 😉

  6. Iota

    Maybe she gets up in the night quietly, puts them on, lets herself out of your house, and walks up and down the street scraping her toes for a couple of hours, before silently letting herself back in again and returning to bed. Yes. I should think that’s it.

  7. Barenakedmummy

    I tend to agree with everyone here – it is a 5/6 yo thing. We did try getting our 6yo to put on her PE trainers (which stay in school) on at lunchitme but I think that wasn’t happening and no matter how much scuff guard you put on they still end up like that. I do think that maybe the shoe companies need to realise that all small children – boys and girls need to have rubber fronting on shoes!!

  8. Maternal Tales

    Renée has the exact same shoes and all Summer I had forgotten about them until the morning school started I pulled them out only to find them looking exactly like Fleas. Oh the shame. Unfortunately, polish never really dries that quickly, so the poor mite was sent to school with black polish all over her new white siocks. But hey, at least the shoes were shiny. Apparently patent ones never seem to look as battered (I have asked around). But I can’t quite bring myself to buy patent shoes. Hey ho.

  9. JulieB

    Yes, DD1’s shoes look the same, if not worse (although she do have a week and 2 days on Flea in terms of school days). *Sigh*

  10. Marylin

    And *that* is precisely why I buy Zack’s from Asda… at least they’re cheap to replace! 😉

  11. Sally Whittle

    It’s a top parenting tip, thanks!

  12. Sally Whittle

    Her shoes last year and in the summer did have more protection, I think, but for some reason this year they’re a bit less robust. VERY annoying.

  13. Sally Whittle

    Yes, I should probably just give up in defeat!

  14. Sally Whittle

    She loves to polish, it’s true.

  15. Sally Whittle

    You’re right. It’s the only reasonable explanation.

  16. abby

    Russell and Bromley renovating polish is what you need, will make them look new again (if you remember to put it on the shoes of course) My daughter is exactly the same..

  17. Dawn Isaac

    Am guessing there have been cutbacks at school and PE now consists of kicking chalk drawn footballs on a wall.
    That or she’s been using a cheese grater on them.
    Have I helped?
    Thought so…

  18. Expat Mum

    I think I’d suggest a couple of coats of varnish. SHould keep the toes protected for a day or two!

  19. If I Could Escape

    Speechless. And, I thought my boys were tough on their shoes.

  20. Rachael (Tales from the Village)

    You probably don’t want me to tell you that my ten year old girl is still just as hard on her shoes. I really don’t know what she does with them, but I suspect it has something to do with pretending to be a horse. The knowledge that Mr Start-Rite charges £38 a pair doesn’t seem to trouble her. Sob.

  21. Emma


  22. Sarah (Chez Lee)

    Blimey! I’d love to see her in action – looks like she’s been riding a bike down a steep hill using her shoes for brakes!

  23. scribblingmum

    Wow, that’s some achievement. I guess it shows that she’s having a great old time, running and playing with friends. It’d be worse if they were spotless by the end of term if you look at it like that !

  24. Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    I’m not sure whether this is impressive or frightening! I suppose crawling along the floor a couple of times would be enough to do that. I had a new pair of Mary Janes once in burgundy and was doing a course where we were required to kneel on the floor a lot (first aid). It ruined the look of my Mary Janes as the colour rubbed off where my shoes had been rubbing the carpet. And I was twenty five years older than your daughter!!


    I don’t know how they do it. My little lad was bought new shoes at weekend and he came home today with them an absolute mess. They cost £32 too! x

  26. Gwen

    LOL! My girls are the same!

  27. Frith

    It’s the swings.
    Hi – I just discovered your blog via Welsh Hills Again (which I adore) – and as the mother of a 7-year-old, reformed self-employed work-at-home mother, I have to say love your blog…
    Thank you!


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