As of about a month ago, Olivia has been feeding herself everything at every meal.
This should be no big deal, right? I mean, Alyssa started feeding herself when she was, oh, about two years old. You know, that age when kids declare, “I can do it myself!”
Olivia has never been that kid. She’s never wanted to ‘do it myself.’ She’s always preferred to be babied, to let us do things for her, even things she’s perfectly capable of doing.
Eating was one of those things that, well, it was just easier to feed her at mealtime than to sit there with her and cajole, harass, beg the child to please eat. As long as someone was shoveling food into her mouth, the food was going into her stomach, not onto the floor, or just being wasted because she couldn’t be bothered to lift the spoon/fork to her own mouth.
But this summer brought some changes. After O’s tonsillectomy, we continued to feed her for all the above reasons. She was recovering, she didn’t want to eat because it hurt and so we ‘helped’ her by putting the food into her mouth for her.
A month after surgery, she and Lyss spent a day at my mom’s. When we got home, Alyssa declared that at Gram’s house, Livie always feeds herself because Gram is just too busy to sit there and do it for her.
Tom thought about this for a few days and then one day declared that from that day forward, Liv was going to feed herself.
She protested, wanting to know WHY she had to feed herself.
We answered that she was a big girl and could do it. She claimed she wasn’t big and didn’t want to do it.
We stood firm and these days, she barely fusses. She also barely makes any messes, so…hmmm. How much have we been holding this girl back?
First self-feeding and now tying her shoes? She’s proving perfectly capable of so much independence. I wonder what else she’s perfectly capable of doing that we just haven’t expected of her yet?