Stick A Fork In It

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Since we’re coming up on the 18-month mark, I figure Henry and Eleanor need to start using silverware. A few days ago, I gave them a toddler spoon at suppertime, and today I bought them their own silverware sets, with rubber handles and kid-friendly metal utensil ends.

Henry and Eleanor were very excited by the new addition to mealtime, but it’s going to be a while before they look civilized while eating. They quickly picked up on what they were supposed to do with their fork and spoon, but putting it into practice was a whole other story. There was a lot of pushing food around on the tray, and holding the fork in one hand while eating with the other.

It takes them a lot longer when they try to eat with utensils; it’s tempting to jump in and do it for them, or take away their forks so they’ll eat with their fingers and just get the meal over with already. This is a challenging aspect to parenthood—being patient and consistent. I know that it can pay off. We made sure that we stuck to a sleep schedule—first three naps a day, then two, then one—and now have kids that sleep twelve hours a night and nap each afternoon with regularity. But getting there meant that I didn’t leave the house much with them their first year because I didn’t want to mess with the schedule. And now I probably won’t be leaving the kitchen much as I watch Henry and Eleanor put empty spoons to their mouths as peas roll down their bib. But how exciting to watch them develop into amazing little people that learn new skills and do things independently. No matter how hard it can be, it’s worth every single moment.


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