642 Tiny Things to Write About: Instructions for Basic Life Skills

Today’s assignment:

Write Instructions for how to do something you haven’t learned to do since you were very young (blow a bubblegum bubble, or swim, or tie your shoes…for instance)

I can remember watching my two children when they were younger, learning to accomplish basic skills.  The act of just tying one’s shoes required the intense concentration of a brain surgeon in the middle of an operation, and took probably as long to complete.

I can still recollect trying to learn a few things when I was a mere pup. If it was something I wanted to learn, I could stick with it with a fervor.  At some point, I wanted to shuffle cards like a pro and I remember practicing it over and over again in my room until I got good enough to impress everyone at school during our lunchtime card games.  But if it was something I considered less than important in my universe, I was apt to get easily frustrated or put off learning it until I was given ultimatums by my mom.

I probably struggled with tying my shoes, but I distinctly remember struggling with buttoning my shirts correctly.  I always seemed to manage to be off one button or have a button-hole unbuttoned.  I don’t know if it was a spatial thing or I just didn’t want to give it the time and attention, since as a kid I always wanted to get dressed and get going.  So here are directions for my 5-year-old self on how to button a shirt.

Step One:  Put on the shirt.  Make sure that the open side is in front of you and that both your arms are in the sleeves.

Step Two:  Take the two edges at the bottom of the shirt, one in each hand.  Match them up so they are both together and touching.  Find the first button and button-hole on the bottom of the shirt and push the button through the button hole.

Step Three: Slowly work your way up the front of the shirt, pushing each button through the hole.  Take your time and make sure you don’t miss a hole.

Step Four:  When you have buttoned up all the buttons on the shirt, look in the mirror and make sure there are no gaps or the shirt looks uneven.  If you have missed a button go back to step three and re-do buttoning up the shirt, starting with the missing hole.

That’s all it takes, boys and girls! Now tomorrow’s life instructions will be a lesson on how to not chew gum like a cow and annoy your mother!

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