Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stick a fork in it...it's done

What to eat? No problem. We'll feed her anything we're eating. When to eat? Got it. Normal times, with snacks and milk in between. Where to eat? Any highchair will do (any highchair out of the house will do even better). How to eat? Well that depends on the what, when, and where...or her mood.

How to eat is our biggest food related challenge these days. It used to be much simpler. We used to be able to grab a spoon or fork and feed her ourselves. We used to be able to get her to open her mouth and eat when we put the spoon or fork near her mouth. We used to be able to get her to eat a whole meal using just that spoon or fork. We used to not have to say "used to" so much.

A few weeks ago, Kaylani figured out how to feed herself using a spoon or fork. We'd put food on for her, hand it to her, and watch as she ate it all by herself. Then, she'd hand it back to us for more. Sure that was much more work than just feeding her ourselves, but she was eating, she was happy, and she was cooperative. Now, she has taken things to a whole new level. Now, she doesn't want to just feed herself. She doesn't want us to feed her. She doesn't want our help at all. She just turned 1, and now she's completely independent.

Apparently, Kaylani is a pro at feeding herself. She can stab food with her fork, or scoop it up with her spoon, and put it in her mouth all by herself. Wait, I think I forgot to put "thinks she can" in that sentence. I mean, in all fairness, she can do it....every now and then. And if we wanted meal times to last 5 hours instead of 45 minutes, we're sure she could stab or scoop an entire bowl of pasta/fruit/chicken and eat it all by herself. But since we'd prefer to not have her spend entire days stuck in her highchair (well, most of the time), we try to help her eat. The problem is independent Kaylani doesn't want help.

Instead of handing us back her utensil after a few failed attempts at gathering food, she'll clutch it even tighter and move away from us. She'll turn, squirm, put her hand and utensil at her side under the tray, all in an effort to keep it away from us if we try to help her. Then when we back off, she'll go back to pushing her food around the bowl or tray with the fork or spoon.

Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that Kaylani is learning to use her fork and spoon, and I can't wait until she actually masters her hand-eye coordination enough to feed herself. As soon as she's ready, I'm going to give her a knife and let her cut her own food. Heck, might even let her cook for herself too. Might as well since she's a pro at taking pots and pans out of the cabinet already! By the way, in case anyone from child services is reading, I'm just kidding. I wouldn't give her a knife until she turned 2.

When all is said and done, the main thing is that she's eating. After awhile, and if we ask nice enough, she'll let us feed her again, or at least let us guide her hand to help her stab her food. The scary thing is that this is her being independent at age 1. God help me when she's 2, 12, or 22. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go double my blood pressure medication.


WeaselMomma said...

In my house the girls were always more independent than my son. They would insist on feeding themselves yogurt at 8 mos of age, but my now 13 year old son would still have me cut his meat and feed him by hand, if he could. I think boys just learn to enjoy the small pleasures and luxuries in life before girls do, cause I sure wish someone was cutting my food and feeding me.

Otter Thomas said...

Feeding time is an adventure for us most of the time too. Braden wants to help. Or he wants to be fed by hand. Or he wants to be fed by spoon. Or he wants to get down. It is constant work these days. I feel your pain.