mother of the year

OK, I feel it might be therapeutic to air that there are a few basic mothering duties in which I big, bold, capital letter FAIL.

mother of the yearIt isn’t that I don’t WANT to do these, but often my best intentions are procrastinated to a point of absurdity.

For instance,   Until today none of my three boys could tie their shoes.


I know!   I know!   It is totally unacceptable.

At ages 10, 7 and 5 this should be a life skill.

A life skill taught to them by their mother.

It isn’t that I haven’t thought about it.   I think about it all the time.   I even picked up a little cardboard shoe with mock laces to practice.*

*The fact that the text around this teaching aid was written at a 4 year old level was not lost on me.

5 years ago when Ryan was 5, I attempted a mini-lesson that didn’t get very far.   He was able to do the first step, but since he wore velcro, crocs, and slip-ons he never was forced to practice on a daily basis.

I keep thinking that this summer I will take a morning to teach all three of them.   I will get it all over in one day.

This morning, 10 minutes prior to leaving for school, Ryan(10) came to me with a shoe with laces and said, “I have to know how to tie a double knot today for history.”


Double knot? We aren’t even in single knot territory yet!

I stopped making Reid’s lunch long enough to show him how to tie a shoe.   Then he did it with me holding onto his right hand.   Then he did it himself.   Then I walked away and he did it again himself.   I returned and showed him how to make it a double.   He did it one time and said, “cool.   thanks.”

The whole process took 2 minutes.

Yes, I have been stressing, procrastinating, agonizing over something that literally took 2 minutes.

Which leads me to believe I might have happened into a good strategy…

It is super easy to teach a 10 year old how to tie his shoes.


  1. Can you come teach Dylan please? Because every time I sit down to show him, we both end up so frustrated and annoyed with each other that we BOTH need a drink. It ain’t pretty.

  2. Geez, here they won’t let you graduate from kindergarten if you can’t tie a shoe. I guess things are pretty hardcore around here. Good luck with teaching the other 2 ;-).

  3. I think it is one of the things lacking in my home school curriculum! hahaha

  4. Thanks for the advice…I think I will wait for my three boys to turn 10 too. I have a 9, 7 and 5 year old…My nine year old got it pretty quick, but he is very focused and determined…Can’t say that for the other two. LOL

  5. Just wait until he is 10. It is much easier then.

  6. HAHA yea, home school is a lot different. I do not have the patience required for it honestly. We live in a really good school district at least.

  7. He needed a double knot for HISTORY? What does he need for math, to fix a transmission? And fly a single engine plane for English?

  8. My son is nearly 8 – 2nd grade – he can’t tie his shoes. My daughter, in kindergarten, is able to tie hers. Whenever I ask my son if he’d like for me to show him how to do it, he responds with “I don’t need to learn. Piper does it for me.” … and so she does, day after day, time after time. I guess he’ll learn when she tires to messing with him 🙂

  9. Ben only learned because his teacher taught them at school. I like your theory of waiting and besides they make enough velcro and slip on shoes these days… ;P

  10. My kids have taught themselves! All have managed a basic grasp of it by the end of first grade, but it has had nothing to do with me. Laziness FTW!

  11. Stupid velcro! It’s the downfall of civilized society.

  12. New plan. Keep my kids wearing velcro until they turn ten. Then find two minutes to teach them to tie their shoes. 🙂 Awesome!

  13. My oldest learned when he was 8 & only then because he needed new shoes & the pair he just HAD to have were tie shoes & I refused to tie them for him. So he sat in the Target shoe aisle & practiced while I showed him. He picked it up fairly fast, certainly much better than he did at 5.

  14. It’s the curse of velcro. I am so glad that it’s not just me. Griffin just learned to tie his last year. And even at that, he doesn’t do it well. They are all loose and it takes all of the Mommy-restraint I have not to re-tie them every morning. And Luke? Well, he’s seven. We’ve got time….

  15. What a great idea! Just wait until they’re old enough to reason with. HRH can do it. Gremlin just ties a series of knots that actually work to keep his sneakers on. As in “impossible to remove” on.

  16. One of my Minions can (10yr old) and the other Minion cannot (7yr old). The 7 yr old just doesn’t have the fine motor skills for it, so for now we wear sketchers z-straps or what ever. I am sure he will learn it eventually.

  17. You have just summed up my entire homeschool philosophy: “Just wait until she’s older (and quite possibly in a panic) and she’ll practically teach herself.”

  18. Seriously, in the last year, I have sat down at least a dozen times to teach my 6-year-old how to tie his shoes, and we’ve never made it past the first loop before some distraction or crisis arises that forces us to stop. On the plus side, he knows the first step like the back of his hand and has taught it somewhat successfully to his little sister.

  19. Velcro may be the end of society as we know it, but it’s also the saving of preschool teachers’ sanity. If I have to undo one more knotted lace while the entire line of preschoolers climbs the walls waiting to go outside I will re-knot it around my own neck!! AAUUUGGGGGGHHHHHH

  20. Good! That means I have three years left before I have to worry about it. Thanks! 😉

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