Sunday, June 21, 2015

Tying Shoelaces with Magic Fingers

It's hard work trying to teach a kid how to tie shoelaces. I don't know how we finally taught Meaghan. In fact, I'm not even sure that I'm the one who taught her. All I remember from those days are a some tears, a raised voice or two, and a dash of drama. Despite this dismal parenting moment, she overcame my ineptitude and succeeded, never needing to look again at those shoes with velcro straps that never really stick that well.

Then Eamon. Much to my delight, he was perfectly fine with velcro until he realized the other day that a handful of kids in his class could tie their own shoes. That handful immediately turned in his mind to "EVERYBODY" being able to do it. That quickly turned to him feeling stupid because he couldn't do something so simple that everyone else could do. (To be fair, some of that was the Tired Monster talking.)

The traditional method that I use is impossible for me to teach. You know you're failing when you hear the words "just do it" come out of your mouth. It reminds me of Dad trying to teach me to parallel park. "Just do it" wasn't all that helpful.

The make two rabbit ears and tie them together method kind of works, but honestly, I find that an awkward way to tie laces and really thought that no adult would ever tie laces with bunny ears, so why would I teach it. But I did see an RN at one of mom's appointment tie her shoes that way. Stunned. I was stunned. I had no idea anyone actually used this method. Then I had a good look at the nurse. Quirky, but not in a good interesting way, more of a misfit way. I'm not going to doom Eamon to that life because I settled on the rabbit ears method. 

But then I saw it: the magic fingers method. So simple I thought. 

I tried to follow the video that just happened to cross my screen through my Facebook or blog feed. But it was backwards. They shot the video looking at the shoes from the front, rather than using the same perspective of the lace tier. Way too much brain power to figure out how to do it with the shoe on my foot. But when Eamon saw it, he did the first part right away while I was still trying to figure out how to hold the laces. I knew I was on to something, and that a bit of persistence would pay off.

After googling a few more magic finger videos I found a terrific one that had everything I wanted. Video and not just photos. Good audio. And most important of all, shot from the perspective of the lace tier.

Eamon and I watched this video a couple of times. We had to go a bit slow after the twist part, but within about 5 minutes he was tying his owns shoes. Such a great day for him. He beamed all afternoon with his accomplishment, and wasn't shy about announcing how proud of himself he was for learning this new skill. And he should be proud.

He can't wait to wear his shoes with laces to school tomorrow.

Here's the video that made Eamon feel like he could conquer the world today:

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