It may have been Cainan's birthday but Ryker is the one that reached a milestone this week. He can now tie his shoes all by himself.
Yes, he is 8 1/2 years old and going into 3rd grade. No, he had never tied his own shoe until yesterday.
I'm such a bad mom. He always wanted velcro shoes (because he didn't know how to tie lace up shoes, as it turns out) and I was happy not to have to waste time tying his shoes all the time. Even his baseball cleets we tied once and then he just slips them on and off. I was just plain lazy.
Then yesterday we were at a yard sale and there were some really nice Eddie Bauer shoes on sale for $1. Ryker goes through 3 pair of shoes a school year, so the more cheapie pairs I can get the better. They were the right size and the right price but Ryker didn't want them. He instead picked up a pair of velcro shoes that were still nice but a little more worn. I asked him why he didn't like the nicer ones and he admitted that he liked them a lot but that he couldn't tie shoes so he wouldn't be able to wear them.
I felt like an idiot. So I bought both pairs of shoes and promised him that I would teach him to tie with no problem. He said he had tried before but that it was too hard. I don't know who tried to teach him, a friend probably, but they must not have done a very good job.
A few hours later we were in the car and I took the opportunity to teach him how to tie his new shoes. I tied one as a demonstration while he copied my every move on the other shoe. It took all of five minutes and he had it down. He then mastered the art of double knotting the laces about 30 seconds later and that was it. He was so proud of himself and so excited.
I never even knew he cared. He never acted like it bothered him at all that he didn't know how to tie his shoes. But when I went in to kiss him good night later that night he said, "I'm so glad I can tie now." Then he continued, "I didn't think I could do it because it was so hard the first time I tried it when Daddy tried to teach me. I guess you are just a better teacher."
Ah, hah! Now the truth comes out!!