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?

WELL. WEH-HELL.

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 which I despise for making me sound like DMX in comparison.)

Shoe tying 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 my shoe tying class, 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. 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 asked over and over, “Why are we calling them bunny ears? Are we doing this for Easter? 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 this was 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 worried my boys spoke a different dialect of English. 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 bunny.

The outcome?

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

My other son had more of an…interesting…approach: an unlikely synthesis of aggressively lassoing bunny ears and a magic trick. 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 is 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 since it’s almost spring.

And me? Guilt. Of course. Isn’t that the biproduct of motherhood in general? Guilt from my own frustration really got me this time. I was never mean, but 2AM thoughts spotlighted me being particularly snippy and glaring at wads of knots by day three. In fact, I’d be 30 min into a solid REM cycle when my subconscious would plague me with guilt and I’d wake up.

But, I did wake up with a thought-you know who I bet can help them tie shoes? You know who can save us?

Blippi.

Genius.

I promised myself I’d look for an episode in the morning. (Spoiler: there’s not one.)

That’s how I soothed myself back to sleep, but only after laying on my back a while to contemplate my budding inferiority complex Daniel Tiger’s mom has given me. She would have seven songs and never glare at her kids’ shoes.

Let’s revisit this young children’s cartoon vendetta I have.

You know who else makes me look particularly bad? That YouTube kid Ryan’s mom. She may be pimping her son out for millions on YouTube, but my kids are spectators to her eternal activities, and sweet natured ooo-ing and aww-ing at messy science experiments blowing up in her kitchen. Forget you, Ryan’s Mom. Also on my list: the collective freakishly nice voices of Daniel Tiger’s mom, Bluey’s mom, and Llama Llama’s mom (Mama Llama). What kind of Valium are they taking? They’re creating unreal patience expectations for my kids.

Maybe I should start promoting Paw Patrol in my house more often.

In unrelated news, we made a quick Huntington trip a few weeks ago (Velcro shoes encouraged) (channeling my inner soft-voiced cartoon mom)(“If you have to go potty, stop, and go right away!” IYKYK). 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 relaxing and smelling all the heavy salt air, and aspire to taking some bunny ears back to this pier in the near future.