The price of kids' shoes these days is enough to make you send them off to kindy - or school - in bare feet. Ah yes, just like the good old days when I was a lad. Okay, so I didn't go to school without shoes but bare feet were far more acceptable back then. These days, you don't see it so much.
Anyway, like I was saying, kids shoes sure are expensive, which is made even more sickening by the fact they grow out of them so damn quick.
My four-year-old Mia had been harping on about getting some boots like her mums for months. We finally gave in so off she went with my wife and my mum, who was in town for the week, to buy some boots. She wanted the high cut ones that come three quarters of the way up your shin. Or, biker boots, as Mia calls them.
Like I say, I wasn't there for the outing but when they got back they still looked a little dumb-founded by some of the prices they had just witnessed.
They were in a Ponsonby shoe shop - no, I'm not out to poo poo the exclusive Auckland strip, it's just that the store was located there - standing in front of rows of lovely little girls' boots with prices upwards of $200.
My wife and my mum looked at each other, and walked out. I tell ya, if I'd have been there I may have even lost my lunch in the shop. Who can pay - who would pay? - that much for something that won't fit them in six months, or a year at the most.
There's a market for everything, I guess. Though we're not in it, that's for sure.
Of course, shoes needn't cost a bomb. Yes, they have to fit properly, and they also have to provide good quality support for your childs' feet, but they don't have to cost that sort of ridiculous amount.
If they are given half a chance, kids love having expensive tastes. Then again, more often than not - and especially kids around Mia's age group - if you buy them the less expensive option they don't even notice the difference. Until peer pressure really kicks in that is.
Mia had to settle for a pair of boots half the price of the expensive ones - oh the poor wee sausage. And you know what, she loves her new boots and didn't take them off for the rest of the day.
I have to say, we went halves with my mum on the boots because we wouldn't usually spend $100 on shoes.
Mia has a heap of shoes, and one good pair that cost a little more, but the majority come from good old K-Mart. Cheaper probably does mean they will fall apart sooner, but when it comes to kids shoes they only need to last so long.
A place like K-Mart is where you get real value for money - and no doubt our other little one Katie will be able to wear a few of Mia's hand-me-downs in the next couple of years too.
Then again, maybe bare feet will be back in style soon. Now that would really save us a small fortune.