Monday, August 07, 2006
Tying Shoes On a Train When Your Fine Motor Skills Haven't Arrived Yet Can Be Hard
On the el the other day there was this very cute little baby girl, with a big fat Angelina Jolie mouth, saw that one of her baby Reeboks was untied and endeavored to retie. This baby girl, strapped into her stroller, was aware that her mother was busy tending to a smaller baby, and therefore unavailable for bigger baby shoe-tying. She was, I would guess, maybe fourteen months at most, and from the looks of her, she could just have been a well-fed one year old. Either way, I know of very few twelve-to-fourteen month olds who have developed the motor skills to tie their shoes. Untying them, they are especially skilled at. Tying them, not so much, but damn if this little girl wasn’t gonna try. Several attempts by pulling on both laces so that they were taut, and then touching the tips together at the ends, and then, when they didn’t suddenly become tied, starting over again. After quite a few attempts this way, she became annoyed, and threw the laces down. Another effort involved pulling the laces taught one more time, but then dropping them and waving her hands near the shoe in a dramatic fashion, much like a magician. She was also doing quite a bit of talking during this entire process, either not in English or not in adult, and it's not unimaginable that what she said on this attempt was "Abracadabra." Taking a different tack, the little girl pulled on the laces until her chubby leg was up on the seat nearer to where her mom was, trying to force her shoe, with her foot in it, near enough to her mother, seemingly unaware that the shoe and the foot in it were not something she was able to separate from herself in order to get it tied by someone who wasn’t close enough to do so. Again, frustration, this time throwing the foot back down, but quickly trying the original method several more times. Needless to say, she did not succeed before we got off the train, but what I loved about this was that she was so clearly frustrated but she never cried about it, she just kept trying.