Why “Taught Shoe Tying” Will Never Be On My Resume

It’s no secret that my kids getting older absolutely skewers me.

Particularly because my situation is not such to be having more babies, I cling to every last bit of sand sliding through the hourglass of early childhood.

But, wait. Wait, wait, wait.

There are a few things I don’t miss, actually. Like no sleep, for one. I enjoy sleeping now that my kids are a tad older.

And that year long brain-sedation that accompanies the new baby sleeplessness? Yeah, blehhh. Don’t miss it. Or diaper blowouts, or constant worry about babies by stairs.

AND-a new addition to the “can’t say I miss it” list as of a few weeks ago, coming in hot: shoe tying.

Tying shoes? How hard could it be, you wonder?


I’ll be so bold as to say the teaching process would have broken the patience of both Daniel Tiger’s and Bluey’s mothers (both of whom I despise for making me sound like DMX in comparison).

My kids recently crossed the shoe tying bridge.

It began as a child-led activity at my house, with both my boys highly interested. I ran with it. Although my too-young daughter was initially considered an imposter in shoe tying demonstrations, her history of wall artwork/marker vandalism lead us all to believe she has well-practiced fine motor skills. We may go through dozens of Magic Erasers, but we’ll still give credit where due. So, she could stay, and we began.

My shoe tying seminars took a turn and verged on diabolical after only a few days:

Day one’s moral was high. We were all confident in our respective abilities to tie, teach, and talk louder than anyone else.

I’d underestimated a need for the prerequisite shoe tying lesson. The little crisscross part, you know? That’s step one. You can’t graduate to the bunny ears until you have satisfactorily laid the foundation for the ears.

And, ugh. The bunny ears. Those damn bunny ears.

(That was my first question taken from my young audience of three kids, and I was asked over and over, “Why are we calling them bunny ears? Are we doing this for spring time? What will we call the bunny ears part after Easter?” I never did answer these to their satisfaction. I developed an actual twitch every time I heard “bunny ears,” which was unfortunate considering my shoe-tying-aficionado hopefuls began just a couple weeks before Easter.)

By day two, I was concerned there was a finger dexterity issue. My daughter was preoccupied with where in the house this bunny was.

By day three, I was convinced my boys spoke a different dialect of English. Maybe I needed a translator for my directions. However, we did establish that it’s beneficial to avoid tying with eyes squinted shut, regardless of the adrenaline…and that we were not getting a pet bunny.

The outcome?

Well, in short, we all came out with a participation ribbon.

And that’s all.

One son was laser focused on his intention to maneuver his tiny fingers just so.

My other son had more of a…progressive?…approach: an unlikely synthesis of aggressively lassoing bunny ears and a magic trick. Like a cowboy sorcerer. If he moved his fingers as quickly as possible and pulled, his shoes may or may not magically be tied in a technique that was impossible to ever replicate, because not even he was sure what just happened. Thus, magic.

“Now wrap it, wrap, no. Okay, good, now wraaaap it. WRAP BUDDY WRAP LOVE YOU HAHA OKAY CLOSE. SO CLOSE NO STOP THROWING IT! The bunny ears, wrap the bunny ear  around YOURE THROWING THE LACE NOT WRAPPING…”

My daughter proved to be a real asset to our group, questioning why we can’t just wear sandals.

And me? Guilt. Of course. Isn’t that the biproduct of motherhood in general? Guilt from my own frustration. Frustration that not even Blippi could save us in our time of need. Not one single episode with pertinent shoe-tying content, and trust you me, I sifted.

So, I just lied on my back a while for a few nights, contemplating my patience short comings, along with my budding inferiority complex Daniel Tiger’s mom has given me. Rather than glaring at wads of laced knots, she would have seven instructional songs in a soft voice.

Can you imagine the amount of Valium she must be taking?

In unrelated news, we made a quick Huntington trip a few weeks ago (Velcro shoes encouraged) (channeling my inner soft-voiced cartoon mom). Ever the beach girl, there is nothing, nothing, nothing more soothing to me than ocean air. Chilly-month California sunsets are a completely different potion for my soul.

We had THE greatest time relaxing and smelling all the heavy salt air, and aspire to taking some bunny ears back to this pier in the near future.