Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Ties that Bind


Reilly the Red continues to amaze me with the things she is able to do. Not just her many abilities, but the RANGE of her abilities is astonishing.

She can:

1). Drive the boat

2). Bait her own hook

3). Cast her own line

4). Catch her own fish

5). Drive a go-kart

6). Complete Algebra problems that BOTH of her parents struggle with (at SIX)

7). Make her bed

8). Put her clothes away

9). Paint her own toenails (with PRE-APPROVED colors)

10). Write and illustrate her own books

11). Present a convincing argument better than most prosecutorial attorneys

12). Surf the internet on PRE-APPROVED websites to do research on topics she is interested in

13). Play the chimes like a pro, even though she's a rookie

14). Bend her knees, thumbs, and elbows into contortions that God and nature didn't intend

15). Provide excellent assistance as a sous-chef

16). Minister to people who are sick or needy with prayer, cards, and hugs

17). Take pictures with a 'real' (meaning, MOM's) digital camera

18). Scrapbook like mad, including journaling

19). Beat the pants off her entire family with every Wii game we own

20). Swim like a fish and dive like a dolphin


There is one thing she can't do that perplexes us. I am certain that we have failed her as parents.

My cool, smart, chic, hip little girl cannot TIE HER OWN SHOES.

Even with all the lessons, and the practice, and the little "Learn How to Tie Your Shoes" book.

She still doesn't get it.

So here's where the parental failure comes in.

Yes, both Billy Two Swords and I are perfectly capable of tying our own shoes and those of the bambinos.

But we have circumvented our child's deficiency by buying her Vans. The shoes that do not require tying.

And since we live in Florida, she's either barefoot or in flip-flops when she's not in school.

Except for the days she whips out the smoking hot black leather boots, of course.

And really, how is this shoe-tying deficiency going to hold her back? Especially if she learns how to tie the knots necessary for boating?

I'm really hoping that when she goes to medical school, and they teach her how to tie sutures, that this will all click in her head, and at 23 she'll figure out how to tie her own shoes.

So does this make us BAD parents for giving up, or BRILLIANT parents for finding a way to make it work?



  1. I am so with you there. Our kids wear shoes that have velcro because that is what is easiest. I worry that my children won't learn to tie shoes. I think we should blame it on manufacturers who make the shoes that don't have shoestrings. They are the ones enabling us.

  2. My son who turned 8 yesterday can't tie his shoes! Agh, it's the stupid velcro and yes the flip flops and barefeet (I'm in Tampa)! My daughter managed to learn in Kindergarten, I've got to teach this boy before he goes to 3rd grade next year!

  3. While I am guessing you have this fixed by now, Abigail had the same problem. We bought all kinds of shoes with buckles and slip-ons, and of course, boots. What finally inspired her to keep practicing was tying a bow in her doll's hair. She actually let me sit with her and work on it until she got it! She was 7.

  4. Actually, she JUST got it about two weeks ago. Another 8 year old taught her. So now she ties her shoes, and her brother's shoes! I've noticed that my kids 'tune' us out sometimes, so I often enlist SAFE ADULT friends of ours to offer a nudge or a bit of advice when I think my kid needs a mentor. Red figured it out on her own, who she felt most comfortable with sharing that she could not tie. She's so much like you will soon learn!