I’ve been trying to teach S. to tie her own shoes for over a year. I just want her to do this one little thing because it will save me much-needed time, and even embarrassment, during our crazy mornings. There have already been several times when I’ve pulled up at the carpool lane and the teacher on duty has had to tie S.’s shoes before she leaves the car. Sometimes mom just forgets to tie them in the push to get dressed, eat breakfast, pack lunch, brush teeth, and etc.
Why did I get my five-year-old tie sneakers, you ask? Really, there are so many lovely Velcro numbers on the market, and they go to size 5 and beyond! Let’s just blame it on the overachiever in me. Being able to tie shoes just seems like something one should know before middle school. Little did I imagine what a headache trying to teach S. would be.
We’ve tried the “rabbit-around-the-tree” method without success. We’ve tried the “watch-mommy-do-it-now-you-try” method. We’ve tried tying my shoes, her shoes, shoes together. I debated plunking down the dough for one of those practice shoes, but honestly they are so ugly I don’t think they’d encourage any more practice then her own dirty shoes.
A friend recently suggested I make my own practice form and use smaller laces than those found on kids sneakers. Apparently, back when I learned how to tie shoes, the laces were a lot more manageable for little hands. Now they’re really long and skinny. So I took it to the next level and made S. a pink and sparkly cardboard shoe with short fat laces. Genius. Now, we are finally getting somewhere. This morning, she tied the practice shoe all by herself: