Adam: How to talk. He could at least use the few basic signs we've been modeling for him the last 5 months. This would be oh-so helpful, but since Ben didn't start talking until 2 yrs, I'm not holding my breath.
How to hold his own cup. The problem is that he's got his mother totally whipped into holding it for him about 95% of the time. I've seen him do it himself, but if I'm at all in the vicinity, there's a bunch of "uh-uh"ing and even HOLDING THE CUP out to me. So clearly those paws at the ends of his arms work just fine.
Ben: This one would seem obvious - poop in the toilet - but I have to say that he has really improved! In fact, over the past month, the only accidents have been when we were on vacation or had a babysitter that one time. So basically, if we are at home and in his regular routine, he does great! Now to work on those other occasions...
Leah: My girl is so smart! She's loving first grade, and now that we have started our carpool (another neighbor mom brings her home) so am I. But she really needs to learn to tie her shoes. And again, the fault lies mostly with her mother.
You see, when other parents were teaching their kids to tie their shoelaces, I was blithely buying sneakers with velcro and not really worrying about tying at all. That was all fine until she need new shoes for tennis lessons this summer. And there just wasn't a very good selection of decent athletic shoes in her size, much less a choice with velcro. ALSO, Aaron has mentioned several times that those velcro shoes don't tighten up enough to stay securely on the foot (as demonstrated by both Leah and Ben losing their shoes on the soccer field).
So we got honest-to-goodness tennis shoes with laces. And I did work with Leah a bit on tying, but she definitely never hit the mastery level.
Now Leah has gym class 2-3 times a week, and because it's a small gym that gets used for a lot of activities (like, EVERYTHING), the kids need to keep shoes at school so they are clean for gym class.
After the first day of gym, I asked what she did about her laces. She said, "Well, Jordan tied one, and Caleb tied the other." Oh dear. The second day, her teacher tied them - and mentioned that she should learn to do it herself- and then Blake tied one in class that had come undone.
Clearly, we have a problem. I pointed out that she really needed to learn to tie her shoes, and she offered a solution: "I know how to tie knots! Why can't I just tie a double knot?" Um, 'cause there would still be laces dragging on the floor. "How about a triple knot? Or a quadriple knot?" Nice try.
Unfortunately for this particular step of independence, Leah has no pride issues about asking for help. I said, "Wouldn't it be silly if you had to have another kid zip your coat for you?", and she answered, "Actually, I had to do that today because it was tricky!"
She gets away with this because she's so much smaller than the rest of the kids, I'm sure. She tends to become a class pet.
One who need her shoes tied and her jacket zipped. At least she brings her own food and is house-trained.
What step of independence do you remember learning? When was it obvious that you (or your child) needed to learn that skill?