The other day when I was spending the afternoon with my grandsons, I experienced, first hand, the dreaded meltdown. It was relatively unexpected as I had just picked them up from school. I was sitting on the couch with Ian who was sooooo excited to see that his first pair of tie shoes had arrived in the mail. Ian is the most independent of the twins, always wanting to master something new and reiterating his own personal mantra, "I want to do it myself!" I get a kick out of this as his mom was the same way, never wanting any help either. So I suppose we can conclude that independence begets independence.
This darling little cuss informed me from the beginning of this episode that he didn't need any help from me and that he knew how to tie his shoes himself.
As he struggled to make the two loops, his method not mine, I offered to take the other shoe and step by step walk him through the process. I was told in no uncertain terms that my help was NOT needed but as he attempted to put one loop through the wrong little hole, well, all you know what ensued. He pulled and the bow he expected fell apart and...so did he.
After inconsolable crying and flailing about saying that he should just know how to do it, no practicing required and so on and so on and so on, I told him he would have to calm down if he was going to make any progress and to let me know when he was done. I then suggested having a snack and watching a program and forgetting about tying his shoes for now and sure enough, he got into Grandma's applesauce and the storm was successfully quieted. The following is a poetic attempt at telling Ian's story.
NO MORE VELCRO!
by Patty Lynn
"It takes some time to learn new things."
That's what his Grandma said.
But wanting so to tie his shoes,
Her grandson cried instead.
The boy was inconsolable.
He couldn't catch his breath.
His Grandma couldn't calm him down,
His sadness had such depth.
The instant skill of tying shoes,
He thought he just should know.
To try and fail, no option this,
And practicing, NO GO.
So Grandma said, "Let's have a snack,
Forget the shoes for now.
I'll sit with you while you calm down.
Then I will teach you how."
Reluctantly, the boy agreed
And in a little while,
He ate his snack and calmed right down,
And then said with a smile,
"I'll watch you, Gram, and do the same.
"I'll watch you, yes, I will.
I understand I have to LEARN
To tie my shoes with skill.
"I'll practice 'til I get it down
And someday soon I'll be
An expert who can tie my shoes.
That Velcro's not for me!