There’s no getting around it. Whether I have contributed to it or not (I hope I have), baby girl is one independent child. As soon as she has the words, I’m sure her mantra will be “I can do it myself.”
We started baby-led weaning as soon as she turned six months old because she was reaching for the food on our plates. And though I’ve never attempted it, I’m pretty sure she’d never let me stick a spoon in her mouth, even if I’d wanted to. I have a hard enough time trying to get my fingers in there to fish out every piece of fuzz she finds on the floor.
And the toothbrush? As soon as she sees it, she yanks it out of my hand and starts chewing on it. I can almost hear the words: I’ll do it myself.
She was eight months old when she learned to pull herself into a standing position. But for goodness sake, don’t you dare try to offer her your hands to hold for support unless it’s her idea. She’ll swat you away like a pesky bug.
Same goes for walking–she’ll hold your hand only if she’s the one leading you. Otherwise, she does not need your help, thankyouverymuch. I’m not what you would call a helicopter parent, and I’ve mostly let her explore on her own, which has meant plenty of bumps and bruises. But I don’t think she’d have it any other way.
Not only does she do things by herself, but in her own way, too. When we were struggling so much with sleep, I used to joke (to keep myself from crying) that she obviously hadn’t read the books and didn’t know she was supposed to peacefully drift to sleep when I laid her down “drowsy but awake.”
Even her teeth are doing their own thing, taking their time to appear, and mostly on one side of her mouth. She currently has an adorably lopsided grin. It’s okay, She has a crooked, funky crawl to go with it (though she’s crawling less and less).
And, let’s face it, sometimes “independent” is code for “stubborn”: she’ll do what she wants, when she wants, the way she wants to do it. Not that I can fault her for it; she’s the product of two stubborn parents. But, as I’ve said before, my hope is that her stubbornness translates into perseverance and strength of character. I’m sure we’ll butt heads as she gets older, but that just means she’s her own person. How can I be mad about that?