Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dad tip #121: Sometimes you have to stop yourself from helping your baby

There's nothing worse than seeing your child suffer even slightly, even for a moment. But sometimes you just have to stop yourself from interfering because in some instances, when your child struggles with something, they're learning from that experience.

Let's look at my son's first attempts at feeding himself Gerber Graduates banana puffs. The puffs are these star-shaped snacks designed to be finger-foods for babies. They pretty much disintegrate when salivated upon but only become sticky when lightly moistened. With less than stellar motor coordination and a tendency to drool in the presence of food -- or in the presence of pretty much anything, for that matter -- his early attempts at eating the treats resulted in sticky puffs stuck to the highchair, the floor, and my son's hands and cheeks. In fact, the puffs seemed to be pretty much everywhere but in my son's mouth.

After a few moments, the urge to help him overwhelmed us and we fed him a couple of puffs. He was hungry! But, we also quickly realized that he wasn't going to get any better at it if we didn't let him figure it out for himself. Now, he can put those suckers down right- or left-handed while contemplating quantum physics or thinking about the potential of CERN's newly functional Large Hadron Collider.

It's pretty much the same thing when it comes to eating with a spoon. However, that just takes more coordination, more patience, and more paper towels to clean up the mess. We're still working on that one.

Anyway, keep this advice in mind because it seems to apply to just about everything right now.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Dad tip #79: Situational song-making

A quick post tonight ... I've mentioned in the past how much our baby likes it when we sing to him and that it can be fun to make up words to well known songs. I'd just like to add that it's also great when you do it on the spot situationally.

For example, I recently posted about how prunes perform as advertised. This recently inspired the following:
Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like prunes and bananas!
THIS I tell ya brother
You can't eat one without the ... other!
Specifically, our kid can't eat a whole ton of bananas without having at least a little bit of prunes because those bananas really are binding.

By the way, the image at the top came from another blogger's post about banana prune pound cake. Really.

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