My six and 3/4 year-old son was reduced to tears tonight. He likes to play that he is a "real pretend policeman" and this requires his vest, several badges, usually a whistle ... handcuffs and a gun ~ the last two each have a felt holder that he strings onto a large, flat lace and ties around his waist. He doesn't know how to tie bows though, only knots, so often there is a problem of trying to unknot the lace around his waist. This being said, he doesn't know how to tie his shoes yet either. He's had velcro or 'slip-on and cinch' style shoes for most of his life and we keep forgetting to take the time to teach him how to tie.
Tonight, however, after unknotting his waist string Daddy said, "You can't wear this string anymore until you learn how to tie so you can get it off by yourself." He immediately started crying ... "Then I can't be a policeman!" Sob ... sob ... sob. "You can be a policeman as soon as you learn how to tie your shoes," said Daddy. "It's too hard! I can't!" Buddy blubbered. "No, it's not hard. You could learn how to do it tonight," Daddy encouraged. "I can't do it!" More tears. "Yes you can ... and you are going to learn to tie your shoes right now," declared Daddy.
The shoe-tying lesson and practice session took about twenty-five minutes. Buddy was thrilled with his accomplishment and got his "police string" tied on all by himself! He thanked us and then made me seven little pictures (birds, a loon, and a gingerbread person) with "I LOVE YOU MOMMY" on the back of each one :) The small "love" notes were rather special because generally he just draws sheriff badges, walkie talkies, POLICE license plates, and the like ... to cut out and play with.