Getting a handle on it

A baby bottle with a trainer handle attached.

It struck me recently that we have probably over indulged Dylan in certain respects. Not in terms of buying him too many toys or giving him too many treats, you understand. No, just with letting him be a little lazy with things he could be doing for himself.

I don’t think of this as a major parenting fail at all though. He’s our first child so we’re learning as much as he is and the only thing we’re guilty of is enjoying looking after him. With his little brother now due in just seven weeks, however, the reality of the imminent arrival has spurred us on to spur him on.

So things will be a bit easier for all concerned when we’re once again up to our sleep-deprived eyeballs in meconium. And I’m delighted to report that a couple of major battles have been won!

Until last week, he still wouldn’t hold his bottles or cups and feed himself with them. We knew he was more than capable of doing so but, whenever we had tried pushing the issue, he was having none of it and we just gave in. A lazy Dylan seemed infinitely preferable to a furious Dylan.

Somehow or other, however, we have made a breakthrough. He has now been feeding himself his milk with no fuss for a couple of days. We had bought some handles that fit on the bottle a few weeks previously but, until now, he still seemed to be apathetic about the whole thing.

We still don’t know what the decisive factor was. Maybe we caught him in the right mood. Perhaps he’d seen something on telly about it being what the cool kids do these days. Or maybe it was something to do with planetary alignment.

Whatever it was, I don’t really give a monkey’s as long as he keeps it up. Thinking about it, maybe the new addition was the key difference and that, beforehand, Dylan wouldn’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles. Maybe…

Anyway, this got me thinking about whether we could capitalise while he was on a roll. So, only this morning, I tried broaching the subject of him feeding himself with a spoon. It was a gamble. Last time I tried, his reaction would be best described as all the worst things in the bible.

Thankfully, after a little initial reluctance, he took to it. I had to load up the spoon for him each time, but he quite happily lifted it and ate from it with minimal mess. He did so again at lunchtime with an audience. I’ll take that!

The baby books would have it that he should have been doing such things ages ago, but bollocks to them! I’m a believer that kids will learn things at their own pace and it seems that a couple of proverbial pennies have dropped.

He knows he’s achieved something good too. We can see it on his face – it’s just below the solitary bit of yoghurt that missed his mouth. We couldn’t be prouder of him right now. Good lad!


  1. mutteringsofafool

    It’s amazing how the thought of another child focuses your mind isn’t it? But if he doesn’t learn these things before the next one arrives it could be learn or go hungry for him 🙂

  2. Debbie Jones

    With our second on the way, my thoughts have been in a similar place but with an older child. Callum is lazy – he strives to do something new but as soon as he knows how to do it, he’ll do all he can to not do it. So my challenges were feeding himself (he has been able to do since about 9/10 months – he’s now 3.5) and going to the toilet by himself. After spending a week infuriated at his stubbornness (wonder where he gets that from) I’ve given up for a bit – he’ll soon learn the hard way when new bubba arrives if he hasn’t caught on by then!

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