Sunday, April 26, 2009

shoes off!

Growing up in the great white north of big T.O. it was common knowledge that you don't wear your outdoor shoes inside. Sludge, snow, city grime... lots and lots of ick! I even had sneakers that I left in my cubby at school to change in to as we didn't wear our boots in the classroom. Maybe I'm just weird but the first thing I do when I walk in to my house is slip off my shoes... it's a comfort thing but it's also a little about boundaries, the outside world stops at my doorstep and beyond the threshold well it's mi casa! Our friends and family know I'm weird like that and most respectfully remove their shoes without me even having to ask. I won't dwell on why I think it's rude to not even ask whether shoes remain on or off... but I understand it's probably just cultural. There's been a lot off online buzz about this subject lately and it amuses me to see how emotionally people have drawn a line between do you or don't you take your shoes off while entering your home. Some people have even dedicated entire blogs to shoes off at the door, while you're at it check out their 37 reasons to not wear shoes in your house!

While I now reside in the fantastic 9 months of Mediterranean sun climate of Israel, the culprit is different... loads and loads of sand and dust! I've mentioned before my love of soft furnishings and carpets here. Carpets for me aren't just something warm underfoot they're often my preferred seating arrangement, propped up by some pillows... our couches get very low mileage.
Once my daughter started crawling around this preference/rule kicked into overdrive I definitely didn't want her crawling around in all the dirt that gets tracked in! I consider myself a fairly neat and clean person and we sweep at least once a day and mop at least once a week usually more often as my daughter leaves a 2 metre radius of food debris around her highchair after even the smallest of snacks! indoors I wear slippers or warm socks during the winter... and during our 9 month long summers I either wear flip flops or go barefoot. My aunt is from Russia and it's the cultural norm there to remove your shoes, they used to have a basket full of cute slippers from Chinatown to offer guests, I'm seriously considering getting my own such basket.. (for all of you getting the willies about sharing slippers I promise I'd wash them after every use... I mean I wouldn't make my guest share bed linens either!)

While I definitely feel strongly about this I also don't like confrontation, it's easy to yell at say my visiting siblings, to remind them to remove their shoes but I find it more awkward to ask other guests, for that I thank dear hubby... he's an excellent foot soldier! hehe... I've gotten better at it though after a certain "poopcident" on my brand new Ikea Fakse rug! (note to self some adults will obliviously step in dog excrement and track it through your house!) I do like to give guests a heads up though and for first timers I'll mention it so they can prepare themselves accordingly.

Recent studies have backed up this idea... The Door mat study found that 98% of lead found in homes is tracked in by foot! Lead poising? not fun... just one more reason to kick off your shoes. As parents we try to do everything we can to protect our children this simple change can mean a world of difference.

I love this door mat! and really want one. It would be one less thing to worry about... buy one here. Next step? How to explain to people that the incessant buzzing on our doorbell alternatively scares the heck out of my toddler or WAKES her up and THEN scares the heck out of her!

I'm a stay at home mom but that doesn't mean I have the time or energy to be cleaning floors all day, with a toddler and an asthmatic husband at home this just makes my life a little easier...

Where do you draw the line?

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