Tuesday, April 15, 2008

shoe school

Pook started writing letters when he was two, and has always been a little artist. He just sees things with great detail and is able to copy that detail well. He learned the sign language alphabet when he was two also. So these details led me to believe that he had the manual dexterity and visual abilities to tie his shoes by about 3 1/2. My father, a woodworker, was commissioned to make a shoe tying template. I bought two sets of shoe laces- blue and yellow SpongeBob (the closest he's ever made it to my house) and black and red Spiderman (who has had some minor visits, like on underpants). I threaded one of each lace into the wooden template so he'd be able to see which lace was from the right hand and which was from the left hand. Then I gave it to him. Then it sat. For three years.

A few weeks ago he came to me and showed me his toes sticking out of the top of the shoe that was purchased in December! He wanted to go buy new shoes. Now. Well, I had neither the time nor the interest to buy new expensive shoes right then. Bug's shoes are from early fall and they still fit. He's already put up with Pook getting new ones once (the December ones were replacements for the August ones which were outgrown) and I don't put myself in miserable situations like that with a choice. I found a way out of this bind when I saw a Target ad - Converse tennies on sale! Whoo hooo! Shoes like Daddy's with shoe laces. Bug got the explanation that Pook was getting new shoes because it was time to learn how to tie shoes and Pook got the explanation that he'd get new shoes but he'd also have to learn to tie them.

Did you know that there are websites out there on shoe tying? Some people have too much time. Anyway, there are many techniques. I tried the "bunny ears" method, but having never tied my own shoes that way it just seemed complicated to me. (Although, honestly, I just learned how to tie so the bow would be straight when I finished, and I did make a change in my "tying technique") Instead I looked closely at my own shoe tying procedure and parsed it out for Pook very slowly. He was more or less interested. A week of wearing them to school and he was truly motivated. One week later, he got it. He's even getting it tight enough and adding a double knot to deal with the extra length of the laces.
Ta Dah!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I remember those extra careful days, where you lay out the laces just so and make sure that everything is in exactly the right place...

    Congrats on your big boy! (I'm pretty sure tying his own shoes qualifies him as a big boy, if nothing else does.)