I’m so close to having four independent kids that I’m itching for even more of my ever-increasing freedom. So much so that sometimes I forget that I still have a pre-schooler who needs my help. But, rest assured, he reminds me. Often.
Many times a day while he is trying to put on his own shoes, I will hear Taye shout to me, “Mah! Is this the right way?”
I’ll admit I got really tired of having to drop whatever I was doing, go look at his shoes and figure out which way they needed to go.
Then instead of simply putting his shoes on for him, I would try to explain to him that the toes of his shoes curved in towards each other when you had them “the right way” and away from each other when they were backwards. This often yielded a 4 year old staring at me with his eyes glazed over as if I were speaking to him in alien. Then he’d ask me a question that showed just how brilliantly my explanation had gone over such as “but how can my shoes point when they don’t got no fingers?”
One day, I was struck with an inspiration. I remembered Elli’s ballet teacher patiently putting stickers on the insides of her ballerinas’ feet then saying, “let me see your stickers!” to get them to clank their ankles together and point their toes outward resulting in a perfect “first position”.
Stickers would fall off immediately, if not sooner, so I simply used a Sharpie marker to draw two dots on the insides of the soles of Taye’s shoes. No one will ever notice these, I told myself as I colored in the dots. (except for you 6 people who read my blog 🙂
I then instructed Taye to “put the dots together so that they are touching each other. When the dots are touching, then you know that’s the way your shoes are supposed to go and you have them on the right way.”
It works, people! Every. single. time. Now, I can enjoy the freedom of reading a book in my La-Z-boy while texting, eating a Snickers bar, and sipping sweet tea without being interrupted to go do shoe duty!
In all seriousness, this stroke of brilliance was more of a gift to my little guy than it was to myself because of how independent and confident he is in his newfound ability to be able to properly shod himself. And ok, it’s kind of a gift to me too. Now I’m sharing it with you. ENJOY!