Keeping right and left straight is tough when you’re little, but this kid now has a kitty helper.
It’s pretty well known that in Japan, you’re supposed to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home. What not everyone is aware of, though, is that a similar rule applies to schools, at least until you reach the university level.
This doesn’t mean that students are running around in their socks all day, however. Instead, upon arriving at school they change into uwabaki, slippers made of a thin material and only to be worn indoors, so as not to bring in dust and grime from walking on the street.
The practice of wearing uwabaki starts in preschool, but this can present a bit of a problem for such young tykes. See, while Mom and Dad might help them get dressed at home, once the kids are dropped off at school they’re on their own as for changing into their uwabaki, and at such a young age, some kids still get right and left mixed up. So to make sure her daughter gets the right uwabaki on the right foot (and the left uwabaki on the correct foot as well), Japanese Twitter user @ayahime02 came up with a cute and clever solution.
娘の上履きに。昨日仕入れた左右間違えずに履けるアイデアやってみた！ キャラクターつきの上履きはNGだから、やった後で心配になってきたけど、表じゃないから大丈夫……だよね？(^_^;) https://t.co/VLS45tYhDK—
綾姫 (@ayahime02) June 11, 2017
Noticing that the white insoles of her daughter’s uwabaki were perfectly blank canvases, @ayahime02 grabbed a marker and drew an adorable kitty, divided into two separate illustrations. If her daughter can see the complete picture of the cat, she’ll know she’s got her uwabaki lined up the same way as they should be on her feet, and if the feline fails to appear properly, it’ll serve as a gentle warning that she’s about to put them on backwards.
Other Twitter users were quick to applaud the idea.
“I’m gonna try this too!”
“I wish my mom had done this for me when I was a kid.”
@ayahime02 ran the idea by her daughter before she started drawing, since she was a little worried that the child might feel like she’d be stepping on the cat. Her daughter, though, simply saw it as a cute illustration and had no such qualms, which is a good thing because her preschool doesn’t actually allow the children’s uwabaki to be decorated. Because of where the cat is drawn, however, no one will be any the wiser while @ayahime02’s daughter is wearing them, and she’ll get to start every day with an artistic reminder of just how much her mom cares about her.