Dirty hands and dirty spoons

Tonight as little L grabbed onto a little spoon with his teeny tiny hands, I marveled at the workings of his fingers, how he has now learned to hold a spoon in any number of configurations of fingers interwoven with spoon handle, trying to figure out how to maneuver it into a small bowl.

Tonight’s feat was his actually managing to get a small amount of his soup – in this case, a small bowl of black bean soup – into a spoon and then into his mouth. While he initially allowed me to place the first few tentative spoonfuls into his mouth, he would have none of my continuing the enterprise. HE wanted to be the one to eat; he did NOT wish to be fed. So every time the spoon, filled with a beautiful chunky gob of black bean soup, approached his hand, he moved in for the grab and I had to move it swiftly away lest he realize my great fear — his grabbing the spoon and hurtling a bite of soup across the room. Well, that ship sailed when after a few swishes of my hand back and forth he grabbed the spoon triumphantly and splat! Threw a wad of gooey soup over his shoulder and onto the floor.

Phew, I thought. That didn’t go too far, might as well give up and let him have the spoon this time. Initially he was happy to have me put a little soup in his spoon and then he’d turn it this way and that, trying to lick the spoon, shove it in his mouth, see if he could get any of the soup out of the spoon via his own hand. But then he wasn’t happy with just maneuvering a full spoon, he wanted to take the food out of the bowl himself. So there he went with an overhand grasp of the spoon, trying first with his left hand, then with his right, to make a blind scoop into the bowl. He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of bending his arm to maneuver his hands better, so I had to hold the bowl within eyeshot. He wasn’t particularly happy with my holding the bowl, but given that I try to serve him hot foods in ceramic or glass, I wasn’t planning on allowing this to be the day when we practiced breaking china. Only one thing at a time, please, L.

After a few attempted bites and scoops I brought him a cup of water — yes a real cup this time, not a sippy cup — and held it to his lips to drink. As he is wan to do, he immediately reached for it with his hands, wanting so desperately to put his messy little fingers and swish them around the cup. At that attempt I had to take the cup away. No swishing in the water today, my good man. That water is for drinking.

So he did the next best thing.

The minute I held the soup bowl in front of him, in went his right hand, then his left hand. Awesome, I thought. You are a smart little cookie, little L.

The rest of the meal was spent with me sitting back mushing up some meatloaf to put it in front of him to see if he might eat that along with his black bean soup, and watching him “feed himself.” I will be amazed if he ate even a tablespoon, no, a teaspoon on his own, but to see him turning the spoon this way and that, chewing, rotating, dropping, picking up food, is a daily adventure for me!