Sunday, June 2, 2013

The odds are 50-50 -- but only a 10% chance of that.

Based on a limited knowledge of odds-making, you’d think a kid learning to put on his or her own shoes would have about a 50-50 chance of getting it right. For some reason, my two younger kids get it wrong way more than they get it right. Saying they have 10 percent chance of getting the correct foot into the matching shoe would be generous.

No.  Wrong feet, Buddy
I could literally tape-record my answer to the question, “Is this the right foot, dad?” The recording would say, “No.” 
 
Of course, I could also add an instructional part too, which goes: “Just match the curvy part of your foot up with the curvy part of the shoe,” or “Your short toes go into the shorter side of the shoe,” or “The flower always goes on the outside,” or “You tell me if that flip-flop hanging off your foot half-cocked and sideways, with the divider forced between your pinky toes, looks right to you? Does it? Does it?!” 

At this point, you're likely asking, do people still use tape recorders? That's not important right now.

I figured I'd do some online investigating to see what other people had to say about the right-foot, wrong-shoe issue. There's actually been quite a bit of scientific research into this. I found lots of articles online, with blogs and whole books dedicated to the subject. I decided not to read any of it.
 
I know my younger two will figure out the foot-shoe thing eventually. Both of my older kids wear their shoes on their right feet every day of the week. They stopped asking our help figuring it out years ago. I know, they are so gifted.   

Sorry, Dear. Try again.
It'd be nice if someone would invent toddler shoes that go on either foot. Ones with Velcro, of course. That way the kids could "tie" the shoes all by themselves, too. That would make parenting a bit easier. But then, they would probably never figure out the right feet from the wrong. And that could be embarrassing for years to come.

For now, I guess the two younger ones will just keep asking and keep getting it wrong most of the time, and we'll keep showing them the right way.

You can be sure, though, we won’t be rushing off to to Vegas with them any time soon.

"Daddy, are these the right feet?"

Now which one is the play button.

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