Monday, February 26, 2007

Learning how to tie my shoes...

My Grandpa Fleming taught me how to tie my shoes. I must have been about five years old, but basically the same age as Bella is now. Part of her weekend homework was to start learning how to tie her shoes so I was happy to pass on the knowledge.

I actually don't tie my shoes correctly. When Grandpa Fleming taught me, he taught me the right way, which involves some tricky move with your thumb after the first bunny ear. He called me on it too, told me I was doing it wrong. I told him that it worked fine the way he taught me, and with a double knot it never untied. He wasn't thrilled, but I guess he thought he had done enough.

You may find it an interesting exercise, right now, to bend over untie your shoe and then retie the laces back the way they were. As you are tying your shoes, think about how you would explain this to a five year old. Could you write it down? Could you verbalize the process? This proved more challenging than I thought it would be.

Make an X, pull through hole in bottom of X, tighten knot, make a bunny ear, leave a tail, wrap around the other lace, make a hole, push lace with thumb through hole to make a second bunny ear, leave a tail and tighten. Got it?

Her little fingers made the laces seem oversized, and little things such as where to pinch the laces and with which hand and with which fingers was something I had not factored into my approach. She has the X part down, but she never quite mastered it last night. However, after showing her the first time, she did start to get up and say "I am going to show Mommy." I had her wait on that.

So now, not only am I teaching Bella how to tie her shoes, she gets to learn how to do it the wrong way. I guess I'll tell Daina that as long as its effective I have done enough.

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