Here begins the Tricks section - being where I share little tidbits I've discovered to make the daily grind a little smoother. Some people would call these lifehacks, but that's too pretentious for me. They're tricks, pure and simple.
We'll start with one of my favorites: Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot.
The double knot was invented by Lucifer. There is nothing worse than needing to get a kid out the door, grabbing a shoe and finding a Gordian mass of lace to be untangled while your unwilling subject runs downstairs to get into something. Kiss your quick departure goodbye.
Sometimes there is a silver bullet. In this case, Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot. I've been using this on myself and my Wrecking Crew (ages 2 and 5) for a couple of years now. The secure knot has not failed once. This may not sound impressive, but I own several pairs of Skechers which in standard configuration will unravel in about 60 steps. I'm convinced their laces are made of Teflon. I learned this knot out of desperation (like most new habits).
The beauty of the secure knot is that while it won't come undone on its own, it unties just like the standard lace knot (hence its superiority over the Knot of Lucifer). Note that this does allow children more latitude in shoe removal (usually in the car when you're already late for school), but if they really want them off they will come off unless they're duct-taped on so I won't count this as a demerit for the secure knot.The downside is that it is slightly more intricate and harder to tie quickly. I still fumble with it on occasion, especially with shorter laces on kids shoes.
If that sounds discouraging I should point out that The Boy (age 5) managed to learn how to tie it just by watching me do it. I'm still baffled by that.
If you are a parent, runner, or own Skechers - you owe it to yourself to learn this knot. Ten minutes of practice will pay large dividends.
I could go off on a tangent about how this illustrates that there's usually a vastly better way to do things than the way we were taught, but I won't. The youngest member of the Wrecking Crew has cabin fever and is awaiting an excursion with Dad. Bet you can guess what her shoelaces will look like.
Ian is the man.