When my first son was born I was obsessed with milestones. Partly because he arrived a little early, but also because as a new mom I wanted to do everything perfect. At some point over the past six years, I’ve relaxed a little. Okay, probably more distracted than relaxed. Life and the addition of two little brothers has helped me accept “good enough” instead of “perfect” most of the time.

One day, we were headed to a wedding and needed a pair of nice shoes to go with his new suit. So we did what anyone would do and hit up the store on the way to pick up some dress shoes. Whew! crisis averted.

Nordstrom Shoe Tying Clinic

Nordstrom at the Fashion Mall
Third Saturday of every month at 9 am

Call the store at (317) 810-9809 to register. It’s FREE!

Until we got home. He had tied his new shoes into a knot mess and couldn’t get them off. “Why did you do that?” I asked, rather annoyed. He said, “What?!?! I just tied them.” Then it hit me. I forgot to teach my kid to tie his shoes. How did I not do that?

I tried a few methods that I found on the internet and nothing was really reaching him. A friend told me about the Nordstrom Shoe Tying Clinic at the Fashion Mall and best of all, it’s FREE. So I decided to check it out.

This is what I call a knot mess.

The Nordstrom Shoe Tying Clinic is offered on the third Saturday of each month at 9 am in the Children’s Shoes Department. You need to  call the store at (317) 810-9809 (ask for children’s shoes) to pre-register. Bonus, if you pre-register, they will call to remind you about the clinic the day before. Great for us distracted moms!

When you arrive, park in the garage on the north side of Nordstrom. The store is not open for the public so you must enter the first floor, northwest entrance. If you are familiar with the layout of Nordstrom, the class actually takes place in the Children’s Shoes Department.

The first thing they do is measure your child’s feet and ask you to fill out a card with your address. They also write their shoe size on the card. Kids feet grow about a half size every six months, so the card is sent to you as a reminder that it’s time to get a new pair of shoes.

All the children sit on the floor and the parents are encouraged to sit around the perimeter to help when needed. I hadn’t heard of the clinic before, so I was surprised at the number of people there. My son wasn’t the oldest or the youngest kid, so I felt relieved that many other parents were taking advantage of this community asset.

Each child is given a practice shoe. Although some kids came with their own tie shoes on, they say it is easier to practice on a shoe that is not on your foot. Several methods are explained to the kids and the child can decide which method works best for them. The instructor would show one method and then each kid would practice a few times before moving on to the next. I really appreciated the extra staff they had on hand to help each student. We were blessed to have one-on-one time with one of the shoe tying experts.

Within 30 minutes, my son had found a preferred technique and was happily sitting on the floor practicing. For all their hard work, the kids were rewarded with a balloon and a goodie bag that included a coupon for a free cookie at the cafe. And, they encourage you to come to another class if your child needs some extra help.

I expected there to be a sales pitch at at this point but that never happened. There wasn’t even a coupon for a return visit in the goodie bag. Regardless, we’ll be back. The selection of kids shoes at Nordstrom is amazing and the staff was so patient and helpful, they are probably even more amazing at selling shoes!

So is he a shoe tying expert? Not yet, but he has the technique and actually likes to practice on his tie shoes. And, as the old adage goes, “practice makes perfect.” Of course, in my house, we’ll settle for “pretty good.”