I know learning to tie your shoes is not an enormous milestone, but it is a necessary life skill. My frustration over teaching this skill began to mount months ago whe he just wasn't getting it. The more I tried to go over the intricate how-to's, the more frustrated he became and all progress lost. It went like that for many months until he brought the Converse he'd picked out to me for one final lesson.
I did the only thing a been-there-done-that-tired-of failing-this-test Mom could do: I pointed him in the direction of Dad. Watching them work together was sweet and endearing. Not to mention incredibly fast. Sitting on the edge of our unmade bed, mainbain taught the lesson I'd unequivocally failed.
I occurred to me that teaching shoe tying is like opening a tough, stuck jar lid. You tug and pull and turn red in the face, until you finally ask for help.
Then it's a tie.