I've spent most of my morning watching a baby feed himself. Not the most exciting way to spend a morning, I'll grant you that, but it is very entertaining. I watched those chubby little fingers chase peaches across the highchair tray. He was so focused on his agenda, his toes were curling and his tongue was sticking out if his mouth. His fingers would grab a piece of peach, and the food would squirt out of his fingers. Slimy things, those peaches. The boy, however, was determined, and would not let a little peach get the best of him. He focused on one piece, never letting up until he had gotten that specific piece into his mouth. Then he would choose his next piece carefully, selecting the largest first, and the scrawny pieces last. It seemed to me to be so much work just to get a few pieces into his mouth, but obviously it was worth the effort. He hummed a happy little mmmm sound while he gummed the peaches. Tasty things, those peaches.
I envy the baby's determination. If eating something turned out to be so much work and such a challenge, I don't think I would eat that specific food again. And that goes for more than just food - if anything is that hard or takes that long, my focus gets shifted to something easier and quicker. I'll take the easy way any day.
The other children are playing 'campout' upstairs. It involves sleeping bags, dress up clothes, and plastic dishes. Oh, and wooden food. And a general mess of gargantuan proportions. The mess, however, is worth it, because they are playing peacefully. The kids can get into such little snits over the most trivial of things. Now that it's too hot to be outside in the afternoons (hello, heatstroke) they get very cranky about being stuck in the house. I get cranky too. The difference between me getting cranky and a 3,5, or 6 year old getting cranky is that I don't hit and push. Much. (Joking, no need to call child protection services.) Yesterday afternoon we had several emotional breakdowns. I wasn't sure we were going to make it until 5:30 when the other two get picked up for the day. I'm just glad that no one was hurt in any way and thankful nothing in the house was broken. That's what I consider a successful day. Keep your fingers crossed for today.