In Summary
  • They are trained from Day One to remove their shoes at the class entrance, walk into the classroom in open shoes then sit on the carpet with socks
  • The routine is drummed into their minds so much that it becomes ingrained in their system
  • He quickly expressed his utter disappointment at those grown-ups who had such wanton disrespect for basic hygiene

The bigger chunk of us went to public schools that had, among other harsh things, bad floors.

But you cannot blame them, they were institutions left behind by colonialists that had over time been run down by mismanagement and the elements of weather.

The result was floors that boasted potholes so large they easily swallowed our then small feet.

Most students did not have the luxury of shoes, as the story goes in my coming of age memoir; The Boy with Shoes, forcing the young anatomies to get accustomed to surviving frostbite ingested by the bare feet planted on freezing floors.

HYGIENE

Most of us have since pulled ourselves out of that lifestyle and are able to not only put shoes on our children’s feet but also take them to schools with good floors (not to discredit the annoying fact that this country still has schools without such basic amenities).

Some, like my son’s, have gone a notch higher to lay a carpet and throw cushions on top, so the young leaders of tomorrow earn their formal education while huddled together in a circle.

To maintain hygiene of that little nest, they are trained from Day One to remove their shoes at the class entrance, walk into the classroom in open shoes then sit on the carpet with socks.

The routine is drummed into their minds so much that it becomes ingrained in their system, same way we grew up believing the universal name for every petroleum jelly was Vaseline.

Needless to say, that has helped me because he does exactly that when he gets home, so I never have to worry about a messed up sitting room carpet.

But then it has opened my eyes to a parenting duty I did not take seriously, until I tagged him along to a cocktail at a hotel in town with a wall to wall carpet.

As is the norm, guests are not expected to leave their shoes at the entrance then scramble for them again after the event, so everyone just walks in as they are.

We get to the door and my son sees this fine looking maroon carpet pinned on the floor, its Turkish decorations accentuated by coloured lights peeping out of magnificent chandeliers.

REMOVE SHOES

Page 1 of 2