Monday, March 10, 2008

Milestones, they're not where you think

With a strange real-world/blogosphere synchronicity MK passed two milestones today, which boring NT textbooks would no doubt have spaced chapters apart.

I mention synchronicity because Marla had been talking about shoe tying skills. I got the impression that Marla thought ten was an advanced age to be learning to tie shoes. But it's one year earlier than the age at which MK started to make a serious effort in that direction. He got it, after a few weeks of practice on a thick shoelace tied to the fridge handle and another week or so of practice on shoe that had been placed on the kitchen table. He got it well enough, that is, that with a bit of coaching and the occasional parental finger to hold things in place, he could swing it (some post-tying tightening required at times). He rarely wears shoes with laces, so it wasn't much of an issue. Today marked a milestone because, waiting for the bus, I noticed the laced shoes he was wearing (because it was raining, which also explains why we were not on our bikes) were undone. I pointed it out to him and he tied them up. Completely unaided. Without so much as single verbal prompt.

The other milestone was opening a bank account. That's where we were taking the bus to. The timing of the bank account ties in with another milestone. Later this week, MK will be taking a five-hour plane trip to visit his grandmother, all by himself. This way he'll have a bank card to use if he does any shopping. He is totally ready for the trip, and totally ready to start managing a bank account (from now on, allowance will be by direct deposit). He is a boy with his head screwed on the right way. He is responsible, methodical, cautious and considerate. So I have much less apprehension in sending him off by himself, at age 12, than many parents whose kids tied their shoes at age five might have.

Actually, today there was another milestone of sorts. MK was given his first batch of French verbs to conjugate for homework. I was expecting a disaster, but he just sat down and did them. He didn't want or need any help from me, and he got them all right. That is particularly remarkable, as MK has yet to master English verb conjugation.

You are always hearing how things have to be sequential. How once skill builds on another. That may be so for some kids, but other kids have a more interesting approach to skills acquisition. Their lucky parents never know when they will have the sudden pleasure of watching them pass a milestone.


Marla Baltes said...

Wow. It is truly amazing how different our children are and the milestones they reach. I am so proud of your son. Traveling alone is a really big deal. It sounds like he will do great. And the French verbs! Wonderful! I did very poorly in French in college so I am even more impressed.

I am very proud of M to and the milestones she has reached. She is at about a five to six year old range however. Nonetheless I am very proud of her. All of our children are different and will reach their milestones at different times and that is totally okay.

Thanks for linking to my shoe tying blog. We are still working on it. Suddenly, M is angry about the "change" of having to work on tying her own shoes. Never a dull moment. I will give it a rest for a while and hopefully she will show more interest soon.

VAB said...


It certainly is amazing. For example, I've heard Maizie talking on one of your videos, and she could obviously talk a blue streak past MK. They are all working things out according to their own schedules, and as you say, that's fine.

Niksmom said...

Wow, those are some wonderful milestones. I thinnk the shoes is HUGE...the kind of thing you work and work and work at until, suddenly, the day comes when you don't even think twice about doing something. That's cause for celebrating. The bank account, the French, the plane? Also big stuff. Thanks for sharing the joy and hope with all of us. This is a day-brightener, for sure!

Susan Senator said...

Nat learned to read in such an usual way -- by using a puzzle game called "Spell-A-Puzzle!"
And he had his first true playdate at age 15!
And he learned to play on a team at age 17!

Atypical Development is JUST THAT!!! :-)

Susan Senator said...

I meant "UN-USUAL!"