Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who needs a Dapper Dan?

Peter started Kindergarten in the fall. And when I bought his new sneakers, I specifically got lace-ups instead of Velcro closures. I did this with the knowledge that he was going to have to learn how to tie his shoes sooner or later and I figured he might as well have the appropriate shoes to learn on.

I learned how to tie my shoes on my beloved Dressy Bessy doll. Dressy Bessy is hard to find but they do still make her. They also still make Dapper Dan dolls for little boys but I knew Peter would balk at the idea of a doll .

Several weeks after Kindergarten started, Peter would occasionally mention that after Christmas they all needed to know how to tie their own shoes.

And after hearing this from him a couple of times, I decided we would teach him over Christmas vacation. And that was my plan.

However, I wasn't factoring into my plan that Peter would have new toys to play with so shoe-tying would not be a top priority for him and that we would be on vacation so shoe-tying would not be a top priority for me either.

Even so, we half-heartedly tried once over Christmas vacation to teach him but decided that we had better things to do and would attempt it again when we got home.

And then I didn't think another thing about shoe tying until last week when I was volunteering at school and I noticed a little girl bending down to tie a little boy's unlaced shoe. I thought to myself, "Awww. Isn't that sweet. The kids are working together on getting the shoe tied instead of bothering the teacher."

And then two days later Peter came home from school, threw down his back pack in a huff and exclaimed, "Today was a horrible day!"

"What happened, honey?" I asked.

"Well, they didn't have fruit pops for lunch like the menu said, my shoe came untied in the morning and I had to leave it like that all day, Joey kept talking and wouldn't be quiet and I didn't earn any extra bananas." He crossed his arms and pouted and even tried to work up a few tears so I would know just how horrible the day had been.

"Why didn't you just ask your teacher to tie your shoe for you?" was the first thing out of my mouth. It seemed to me that would have been an easy fix and would have quickly made the horrible day a little less horrible.

"Because," he said in an exasperated tone, "it's after Christmas and the teachers aren't tying any more shoes."

"What? What do you mean the teachers won't tie your shoes?" Surely he was confused.

"You remember. After Christmas we had to know how to tie our shoes because they weren't going to tie them any more."

He did mention that they needed to know how to tie their shoes after Christmas. I will give him credit for that. But he failed to mention the most important part - that the teachers wouldn't tie them any longer and the shoes laces would just be left to drag on the ground posing a tripping hazard.

Could they not have sent a note home? Because it is a requirement at this elementary school that all students have a backpack. And contained in this backpack is an agenda (which I paid for!) where the teachers and/or students when they are older write homework assignments and there is a folder in the backpack (which I paid for!). One side of the folder is labeled "Keep At Home" and the other is labeled "Return To School".

So great pains have been taken to ensure ease of communication between parent and school. It's not like when I was a child. Back in the 70's, (at the exact same school that Peter attends now) if a teacher wanted to get a note home to the parents, it was PINNED to our shirts!

So notes go back and forth all the time. The school doesn't seem to have a problem reminding me that it's Chick-Fil-A Night or McDonald's Night but apparently it was too much trouble to let me know that as of January 5th, there would be no more shoe tying!

After I got over my extreme annoyance (at least I think I got over it), I decided that my child was not going to be the only child walking around with untied shoes.

So, I did what I do every time the kids need to be taught something. I told Dan that he needed to do it.

And that night, right after dinner, my dear sweet husband sat Peter down to teach him how to tie his own shoes.

I heard things like, "Make an X" and "Now make a loop, sort of like a bunny ear" and "I know it's hard, but nothing worth doing is easy".

And after two lessons, I am happy to report that Peter learned to tie his own shoes. He's slow, but he can do it.

And we didn't even need a Dapper Dan....just a Daddy Dan!

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Denise said...

Woo Hoo, way to go Peter.

He And Me + 3 said...

That is so great. My girls learned to tie from this great tie your shoe book that looks like a shoe with laces. They too learned in one day. Love that book.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

Congrats! YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!!

Motherhood for Dummies said...

opps... sorry, forgot to add that I would love it if you would email me your address at motherhoodfordummies@hotmail.com

jennwa said...

I be sending Colton over this weekend for Dan to teach him.

Good job Peter.

Mari said...

Hooray for Peter - and Dan too!

Kim said...

Cute post! Does Daddy Dan do potty training teaching also? HaHa!

Aimee said...

I hand those teachable moments over to my hubby too! (I thought I was the only one!)

And I'm with you on the communication thing. We get all kinds of notes about community soccer, recycling contests, lunch menu changes, etc. . ., but Fiver came home with a homework assignment that had no instructions!

Um, just what am I supposed to do with that? Count on my kindergarten son to tell me what he needs to do? Don't think so.

Just pin it to his shirt and be done with it :)

My Life Thinking said...

This is a very nice post, I like your blog!

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Way to go Daddy! And Peter!

My son learned to tie his shoes at Stride Rite. The clerk was very good. She had a story to go along with it. I was surprised that he could learn it that quickly.

And yes, I would have been frustrated with the school too.

RR Mama said...

Way to go Peter! Big acomplishment!

daisigirl said...

Oh this just takes me back! I had a Dressy Bessy and I still have my Mrs. Beasley Doll. She scares my children!

Andrea said...

Tanner is the type of child that when he wants to learn to do something he work on it all day until he has mastered it. So last yr in k-4 he wanted to learn how to tie his shoes and he worked on it himself (he wouldn't dare let us help) and finally mastered the art of "shoe-tying"!!

On another note, I would have not been so happy with the "No Note Nonsense" either!

Pam said...

My kids are so stubborn, they probably won't learn to tie their shoes until they are in high school! (I used to tell my kindergarten students to CHOOSE VELCRO!)

beth said...

Great job, Peter! And great job Dad! And good for you mom for having Dad teach him how to do it. :)