January 24th, 2017


spacekid's shoe tying

When Josie started kindergarten we bought her a new pair of tennis shoes, some sketchers.

When Josie started first grade I took her shopping again and bought her another pair of sketchers, and also noticed that 1) her kindergarten shoes were so done. They looked like she'd been working in a mine all year or something. Kids are hard on shoes! nothing left to the bottom, holes in the toes, they went straight to the trash. 1) she'd gone up a size and a HALF!

So mental note: maybe I should be nice to my child and buy her tennis shoes more than once a year.

Here we are mid-year, her first grade september sketchers look like crap, so I was wanting to get new shoes and try a different brand. That meant we had to make the big jump to shoelaces. People, we can all only wear velcro for so long (guys at work disagreed with me on this but I digress...)

She was game to learn how to tie shoes. I got her some filas, and a pair of converse all-stars. Marc tried to shoe her how, on the couch, but she was getting frustrated, the TV was on, so I said Josie we need to go upstairs to a quiet place and do this!

Right hand: pinch one shoelace so it's folded over and you've got a loop. Left hand: wrap the other lace around your bunny ear. Push left hand lace through where your thumb is. Switch hands... right hand grabs what left hand is pushing through. Monitor dangly ends and pull tight. GO SLOW.

Glad I didn't have some weird left handed kid, would I have to switch this all around to teach her?

She got frustrated, threw herself on the ground, grabbed other random toys. If she doesn't learn something INSTANTLY she wants to abandon it. I yelled "JOSIE YOU HAVE TO BE PERSISTENT AND PATIENT AND DETERMINED AND KEEP TRYING! IF CAN'T BE PATIENT I AM WALKING OUT OF HERE BECAUSE I HAVE OTHER THINGS TO DO!" And she'd yell "NO I DON'T WANT YOU TO LEAVE!" but she'd be laying on the floor losing her neurotic little six-year-old mind, NOT listening to my advice on shoe tying, not wanting to sit UP, wanting to tie the two shoes together because it looked funny, not getting anywhere.

Then I realized that I was yelling and threatening to leave, as a punishment for not being patient. Bit of irony there. Okay, I have to do this. So I counted to ten, took deep breaths, and patiently said "Let's try again!"

Honestly once that happened it went really fast. Each attempt got closer. I told her "you have to do something a lot to get it right... at least ten times!" She was counting attempts. After 10-15 minutes of attempts, she had one that she did by herself and it was TIED! I was so proud, but told her that's the start, you have to do that ten times, and we got a cup of marbles and I put a marble in it. After ten marbles we went down and showed Marc and she was so proud of herself. We've still got some subtle form improvements to work on but I have to admit she learned really fast, like she always does. And I learned an important lesson on mindfulness. Good all around.