I'm sure if you've been to the mall, or Target, or walmart, or... anywhere(!) lately (at least in the US) I am sure you have seen heelys (http://www.heelys.com/
). They are tennis shoes with a removeable wheel in the heel and they run $40 - $80. They are EVERYWHERE. You can tell kids are wearing them when you see them do the run-run-run-sliiiiide. Seems like every kid I see when I am out christmas shopping this year is wearing these things.
My kids want these SO BAD. Especially DS1. But they know they are not getting them for Christmas. I have several reasons why I will not buy them. The first is that... I don't pay $40 - $80 for kids' shoes. Heck, the most I have ever spent on a pair of MY shoes is $25. Then there is the fact that I don't think they are particularly safe (they are # 1 on the 2006 most dangerous toy list http://www.toysafety.org/worstToyList.html
) and that ties directly into my third (and biggest) reason for refusing to consider buying them: they are ONLY good for skating in inappropriate places.
So... Yesterday was my kids' birthday party. They both came out LOADED, lol. DS1 told me that he wanted to spend his money on Heelys. I told him that it is his birthday money, and I am not going to dictate how he spends it, but I want to make sure he understands that anything he buys will be regulated as I deem appropriate. I told him that I foresee him with an expensive pair of tennis shoes while I carry the wheels in my purse most of the time b/c he still will not be allowed to skate in places where skating is not appropriate.
He says he will only wear them where it's ok to use them. Where? Target. No, not okay. The Mall. no, still NOT okay. WalMart. Hello? are you NOT getting my point? I told him he could wear them around the neighborhood - WITH a helmet... but he has rollerblades and a skateboard for that. I told him MAYBE at the park - with a helmet. Again, he has rollerblades and a skateboard for that.
It occurs to me that as much as this is a safety issue, it is also an etiquette issue. Every time some kid whizzes past me in the mall on wheels I want to snatch him up and take him back to his mother so she can tell him that the mall is not a skate park. I don't do that, of course, but I am sorely tempted. I thought I would poll my eHellions to see what you have to say on the subject?
For the record, DS1 is now sulking and has decided not to buy the Heelys since he realizes that he'd hardly ever be able to wear them. He wants to spend his money on a skateboard, but I told him to wait until after Christmas in case he gets one as a gift.