Bec Sparrow wants to kiss this man. And so will you.

Ava with Bec’s new bestie, Nunzio, at The Athlete’s Foot Mt Ommaney

I’m not sleeping.

You could be forgiven for thinking this is because I am about to move house with three small children – three small children who at times have me convinced they are planning to stage a coup.

But no. I’ve moved house so many times before I can pack glassware in my sleep.

No, I’m not sleeping because Ava starts school in less than three weeks and I have no clue what I’m doing. NO CLUE. Of course, I didn’t think I had no clue until last week. Up until last week I thought I had everything under control. This is because I am an idiot.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Athlete’s Foot. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

Last week I found out – thanks to talking to some other Prep mums –  that there are, oh, say 50,000 bazillion things I am supposed to have done. Like what?

Like, you know, ordered all the stuff on Ava’s book list.

Contacted her books (once, you know, I ACTUALLY ORDER THEM)

Purchase a new lunchbox that is easy to open and close and looks like Disney threw up all over it.

Purchase a new drink bottle that is easy to open and close and looks like Disney threw up all over it.

Bought cutesie name labels and then labelled the bejeebus out of everything.

Taken Ava’s school uniforms out of the plastic bag they are currently still sitting in and WASHED THEM.

Purchased a chair bag. (Note to self: Google: “what the f-bomb is a chair bag?”)

Ava starts school in three weeks time and Bec claims she has no clue what she’s doing.

Taught Ava how to, oh I don’t know, let’s say READ. (Last week a mother I met told me that her son knows 50 sight words. WHAT THE HELL?)  You, yes you reading this post —   BRING ME ALL THE WINE.

And so it was that I was sitting sobbing over this list when my beautiful, sensitive and supremely wise sister-in-law Mandy put her arms around my shoulders, squeezed them and whispered, “And don’t forget, she’ll needs school shoes.”

I smiled up at Mandy gratefully and quietly contemplated sending her an email virus.

How had I forgotten school shoes?

And as crazy as it sounds – the 50,000 BAJILLION site words aside – it’s the school shoes that started stressing me out the most.  I can wash and label uniforms. I can buy lunchboxes and water bottles online at 2am. But school shoes? I got nuthin’.


Despite scrambling around for an hour, I couldn’t find the uniform code for Ava’s school. Was she meant to wear brown lace-ups?  Mary-Janes?  Sneakers? Was Velcro allowed? What colours were permitted? And how the hell do you know what size to get?  Or what type of shoe? I’ve got a broad foot. Does Ava have a broad foot? A high arch?  I have no idea. All her shoes have been hand-me-downs so far. And truth be told, I tend to want to high-five myself if we leave the house and she’s WEARING SHOES, let alone ensuring they’re the ‘correct fit’.

Enter The Athlete’s Foot.

No, seriously, literally ENTER The Athlete’s Foot.

They’re awesome. Honestly, AWESOME. You know why? We walked through the doors of our local store and I got to offload the entire debacle to Nunzio who’s been working in the shoe industry for 20 years.

All I had to do was tell Nunzio the name of Ava’s primary school and what her favourite colour was. He did the rest. He had a master list of all the local primary schools and their uniform codes. (I know. I KNOW. I wanted to kiss him).

If he wasn’t there I would have been staring blankly at the wall of Clarks, Asics, Brooks to name a few.

Nunzio ensuring Bec doesn’t throw her money in the bin by ensuring a good fit for Ava.

Instead within minutes he’s measuring Ava’s foot, getting her to try on a pair and then analysing her walk on some space-age computer that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Alien. Apparently we  were seeing if Ava’s foot “rolled” and if she needed extra support. I say “we” but I was Googling “Paying other people to contact your children’s school books” so it was all left to Nunzio. He was cool with it though. He was in the zone. I did try to listen to him wax lyrical about shoes and feet but it was a bit like listening to my husband bang on about Game of Thrones so I may, er, have tuned out.  I do remember Nunzio explaining how kids feet grow width-wise first before they grow in length. And how much their feet are likely to grow during the first year of prep – so if you don’t want to throw your money in the bin and have shoes that only last 6 months – the fit is important.

Fifteen minutes later we were done. Ava had a pair of fabulous pink and purple The Athelete’s Foot Ascent school shoes that met with the school uniform code.  And I’d managed to cross the first thing off my back-to-school list.

The hardest job is done.  Now I’m just wondering if Nunzio knows anything about contacting books….

The Athlete’s Foot stocks a wide range of School Shoes for action packed school days! Clarks, Ascent, New Balance, Brooks as well as Kids Sports shoes, Netball shoes, Running shoes & more.

Visit one of over 135 The Athlete’s Foot stores and have your children fitted by one of our fitting experts.

The Athlete’s Foot is running a #backtoshoes photo competition for all the parents during Back to School! There are 5 $500 prize packs to giveaway. Click here