An important lesson I learnt after moving to the States and observing American moms at work was that the sooner you teach your toddler to be independent, the better (for you mostly, but also for your child). I still have a big problem with the western habit of plonking a 6-week old child in her own crib and room, far away from her parents; but other than that, there's a lot of be learnt from the super-efficient way in which American moms teach their children to feed and dress themselves from a very early age. It was a little too late for me to implement these ideas with Ads, but I am trying to remedy that defect now that I have Y to practise upon. She has been a most willing and eager student.
The first thing to know about Y is that, she loves to eat. Period. I've been lucky that Ads is a good eater too, though his menu of choices has gone down but it's still large enough for me not to worry about what he's going to eat when we are on the road. (So why are both my kids so skinny????). With her good motor skills, she is able to grasp a plastic tumbler filled with milk and gulp it down with a minimum of liquid tricking down her clothes. She has been snacking on an assortment of finger foods - paneer and cheese bits, cheese puffs (her favourite), cookies and crackers, slices of apple and banana, and frosted cereal. Not content with what is offered to her on the highchair tray, she insists on snacking from my plate. In the last few days, she has gobbled down a quarter of a roti, bits of bread with nutella and sunflower seed butter, a couple of grapes, and some pulao. With such a cooperative ward, I would be incompetent indeed if I didn't teach her to feed herself by the time she is 18 months old.
She has picked up a few more words like Yeah (she uses it all the time, mostly in context!), Bye, Hi. There's a lot of babbling going on all the time all of which means something I am sure but which is all quite incomprehensible. She is still pretty clingy but doesn't have as much stranger anxiety as earlier. She is constantly trying to find out how things work. Having noticed how we point the remote at the TV screen, she walks around pointing my cellphone at the TV, willing it to spring to life. She points the car keys at the car and my house keys at the elevator button!
Here is a snapshot of Y working hard at some munchies.