Jack learned to tie his shoes today. All at once. By himself. Not that we haven't tried to teach him...
me: Make the bunny ears honey! Look, no, like this...
And that's pretty much how it went. I gave up. The hell with it. That's why we have velcro. But, somewhere in his mind, he was tying those bunny ears together. He never practiced at all...that I ever saw. So what happens today? He comes into the bathroom, wearing his new "dressy" shoes (brown leather Sketchers), proud as anything, face beaming! I look down and gasp. Two perfect bows, one on each foot.
me: Did we leave those shoes tied and you just slipped them on this morning? (way to be encouraging huh?)
Jack: Noooooo, I tied them all by myself! These laces are easier and they stick together better.
me: (who knew?) OMG That's so awesome, look at you my big boy!!!! :)
I was this proud when he got his first tooth, and also when he rode his bike without training wheels, and graduated from preschool and had to recite things in English and Spanish AND sign language. (sob)
Jack has a high level of expectation for himself. He has to master, literally MASTER something before he will give up. When he realized he could almost snap his fingers (end of last year maybe?) he practiced day and night until he could make the loudest, most startling pops with his fingers. Whistling was the same thing.
Jack: But HOWWWWWW are you DOING iiiiiitttttttt!!???
me: Pucker and blow. What can I tell you. It just hast to happen one day.
Jack: PFFFFBBBBBBBB! Wahhhhhhh!
(then he practiced for maybe couple of days, maybe a week, until we heard a short peep come out.)
Jack: Gasp! I think I whistled!!! peep.
me: Yep I think that's it! Now get some power behind it!
He's become a mad whistler now, sort of a mindless tune blower, in the car, while riding his bike, generally all the time. He's really good at it too.
Jack: (on 3/19/10) Now, today I do NOT want training wheels on my bike. Take them off NOW please!
me: But...well...it's almost dark and we really don't have anywhere for you to practice...
Jack: I'll practice right here, right now!
("right here" being our 45 degree 150 foot long driveway of course)
me: Jaaaaack, there's hardly room at the top here...
Jack: Let's go, gimme a hand here. ( I held him for a second, then let go and he really did ride for 5 feet without help, before the flat part of the driveway ran out)
me: I think you've got it! We'll take your bike to Grandpa's and let you learn on the street that I learned on.
Sure enough, on the first day of Spring, (and his cousin's birthday) within 15, no, 10 minutes, Jack was flying solo up and down my Dad's street, freaking me out! And then he learned to start the bike from a stopped position by moving the pedal to the top and pushing off on it. Oh the screaming fits until he mastered that. But again it took him about 5 minutes.
I'm not sure what this means for Jack's future, but he does not give up. He sees a challenge and has to face it head on and conquer it completely. Now if I could only get him to really, really want to have the most excellently clean teeth of all time, I'd be all set.