Thursday, July 03, 2008

Milestone attempt in progress

Havoc has expressed an interest in learning to tie his shoes.

He has one pair of tie shoes. It's the only pair of tie shoes he has ever owned in the entire 5 years and 9 months of his life. He's owned them for 5 months and has rarely worn them because they tie and Lazy Mommy usually won't deal with them.  They were bought in a moment of shoe desperation (the sole had come off his existing pair & he had school the next day) when they were the only shoes in his general size available. A week later they were replaced with shoes that velcro closed. He's had them on a few times since then and random attempts to learn to tie them have been made, but Lazy Mommy won't tie shoes very often, especially shoes that don't stay tied, even in a double knot.

However, for the last couple of days he has come to me with the shoes and asked me to teach him how to tie them. He says "how do I make the bunny ears" and I say "bunny ears?". Mayhem adds "How about the squirrel running around the tree?" Squirrel? Tree?  Sorry kiddos, mommy learned to tie her shoes about 37 years ago and has no recollection of forest animals being involved.  I had to google to find out what they were talking about. Attempting to use these little rhymes and things only made me mess up tying my own shoes.

We struggled for a day with the tying issue. I'd show him how a few times & let him try. I'd walk him through it, I even tried holding his hands in position as he did it but he's left handed and I am right handed. There are 2 problems. He's not really paying full attention (IMO) because when I say "Here, where my hand is" putting my hand where you pull the string through he persists in reaching to the side, obviously not paying any attention to where my hand is.  The other problem is that I have been tying my shoes for so long I honestly have no concept of how you can NOT understand how to tie your shoes. Make a loop with one lace, toss the other lace over & pull it through. How do you not get that? How, having seen it done & been walked through it a couple dozen times can you not get it? So this is a real test of my patience

Part of the problem I'm sure is that we were practicing tying black laces on black shoes. Probably it would be easier if I could say "put the blue lace over the yellow lace & pull it through" rather than having to attempt to figure out how to differentiate the one bit of black lace there from the other black lace there and the other dangling part over there.  Plus there is all that hand movement. You have laces in both hands, then in one, then in another. You really need 3 hands to tie laces - 2 to hold the loops and a third to pull one through.

I went to Target today looking for a board book that has 2 colored laces and diagrams for various knots. They didn't have it. I suspect an actual bookstore like Barnes & Noble sells it but there isn't one within a 50 mile radius so I got this toddler lacing toy called "One, Two, Tie My Shoe" which consists of 4 large foam shoes and 4 brightly colored laces. I tied 2 of the laces together, stuck one end of each through the foam shoes and we began practicing. We again had the attention issues. Me- "Toss the blue lace over the green one". Him - "the blue lace?" 

Havoc can now make the base knot but not the bow. He decided to take a break a couple hours ago & just told me now that after the Backyardigans he wants to try again.  I'm glad he's self motivated because honestly, right now I am so frustrated he can wear velcro shoes up to and into the college years as far as I am concerned.

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