I keep forgetting how often what I think is misbehavior in Laurel (13 months) is really trying to do what her older siblings are doing. Sometimes she truly cannot do what they are doing (like cut and paste paper nighthawks). Other times she is stretching herself to do something well within her ability to learn (even if I don’t realize it).
One of the challenges we face is her standing up at the piano and in her high chair. Consistent enforcement of the rules (she can’t play the piano if she stands up, and she has to come out of the bath if she stands) and a high chair seatbelt have helped her learn to stay sitting, most of the time. However, yesterday morning Laurel stood up, and I took a few seconds to consider her motives before I did anything. I realized she was trying to see inside her daddy’s cereal bowl, and then I realized she might be able to spoon her own cereal. Now… she’s not shown much interest with the spoon, and she’s only mildly interested in the cereal.
However, when I put the bowl in front of her, she was giddy with excitement. I remember from the other two that cheerios floating in milk are quite easy to scoop up with a spoon. She began to eat with gusto, checking every so often at what the rest of her family were doing, beaming at our approval for her new skill.
Yes, I had to help her, guiding her spoon (but not taking it away), reminding her to use her spoon rather than her hand, and to make sure she had enough cereal (after awhile it gets harder to spoon up the stray cheerios). Yes, she spilled a lot of cheerios and milk (this morning I used Bethel’s kangaroo bib). I figure, though, which would I rather do: tell her to stop standing up, throwing down her food, challenging the trustworthiness of the sippee cup? or helping her to learn a new skill?
Let me think on this awhile.