Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shoe Tying Efficiency

Last week I saw my 12 year old tie his shoes and was horrified as I noticed that he put an extra step into the process for no apparent reason. While I was trying to bring this to his attention and correct the problem some of my other kids came to his support and said they tie their shoes the same way. At that moment I felt the pains of a neglectful parent as I realized I had never had "the talk" with any of my kids about how to tie their shoes. As a result they have turned to friends and other sources for that information and now they incorporate unnecessary steps into the knot. Some of the younger ones have even turned to Velcro to remedy their plight. This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but if you calculate all the extra time they take over a lifetime of tying shoes it can add up to a lot of wasted time. To show them that my way was superior we had shoe tying races and I smoked them every time.

This is a topic that some people might try to dismiss but I think it has been brushed under the carpet long enough and needs to be addressed. As a society we need to finally figure out at what point a person is at their peak for tying their shoes. I have seriously wondered about this for years but there have been no experts to answer my question. I have not seen any scientific studies addressing this topic and if you thought the government's response was slow for Hurricane Katrina then you would really be disgusted with how little they have done to promote shoe tying efficiency.

It's obvious that little kids struggle and are slow when they first learn how to tie their shoes but they get faster with time. The elderly are usually slower with their diminished motor skills so there is obviously a middle area when a person exhibits the maximum speed and efficiency. I think it would be beneficial to everyone if we could pinpoint the exact time an adult starts the down hill trend of being less efficient at tying their shoes. This could be labeled as a major turning point in one's life. Thankfully, the contest I had last week with my kids confirmed that I am still in my prime.

My personal opinion is that top performance is achieved in the late 20's, although I think I'm still lightning fast for being twice that age. Take some time this week to discuss this issue with your family. I hope I'm not the only person who is concerned about this topic and am willing to do something about it.

9 comments:

Emily said...

Weston used to tie his shoelaces around his ankles. Every day. Does this count as inefficient? I'm pretty sure he was in his prime.

Anna Lefler said...

I think it's all about training and discipline.

I practice 40 minutes every morning with a stopwatch. I find I achieve my best times when I really have to go to the bathroom.

:^) Anna

Kristina P. said...

Do you have Obama's address? I would like to send a letter to him and my congressman to make sure that this issue is addressed.

Stimulus, schtimulus.

MikkSolo said...

Chaka - This is Rischelle. Just ask Shawn next Wednesday to show you how he ties his shoes. He does an unnecessary step - maybe even two. It makes his bows turn out upside down and floppy too. I have absolutely refused to let him teach our kids. It's a sad day in our house when I need something tied (a dress) in the back and none of my girls are around to tie and I only have Shawn to help. In fact, I usually choose a different dress rather than have Shawn tie it for me!

Kelly said...

I know of an extra step that prevents the laces from coming untied. In the long run doesn't that prove to be more efficient?

Bee and Rose said...

I laughed hysterically reading this (and hung my head in shame as well...)

I have a 12 year old son that I completely forgot to teach how to tie shoes! lol! (My husband stepped in a few years back apparently to remedy this..) I just kept buying velcro shoes or Vans for him, I suppose, because I had a mental block on how to teach a "lefty" how to tie his shoes!

Like you, I would be completely appalled at the "extra step." Heavens, think of all the ways they could be spending that time! lol!

Let me just add that you are very lucky (unless you have an Irish dancer in your family like I do...) that you don't have to lace up and tie a pair of ghillies! That is murder!

Jen said...

Count me in. I am definitely tired of the world ignoring this important issue. My second child had to wait until the SECOND GRADE before I finally bit the bullet and made myself take the plunge and attempt a "teaching moment" before he became an object of ridicule amongst his peers. It was a close one.

And I have no doubt I'm still in my prime. And I DO NOT believe in the "bunny ear" method.

Jeanne said...

I was a shoe-in for helping you out on this, but then I got all tied up....

Big D said...

long have I searched for a true test of my "prime". For the last few years I have been having my kids try to snatch pebbles from my hand. Since they can now do that, walk out of arms reach and mutter "Dad you're pathetic" before I can even close my hand. I think I'm switching over to velcro.