Baby is starting to show signs of independence. He now demands for his own bowl and spoon during eating times. He tries hard to get the food onto his spoon and then into his mouth. Sometimes he is successful with the former, but not the latter :) When the process gets to difficult, there is always the backup plan... use fingers to eat.
What does mommy do? Tell daddy to close his eyes coz' he cannot stand mess. Hahaha. Also to cut down on clean up time, I put a newspaper under the bowl and also newspaper on the floor to catch the ones that "get away" or "fly away". I must give some credit to daddy. He has been very patient in "coaching" baby to eat. He will take baby's hand and show him how to scoop up the food. The most important part is teaching baby to lean forward as he puts the food into his mouth. That way if he misses, the food will drop into the bowl/plate. So remember, bring the mouth to the spoon and not the other way around.
This stage of wanting to eat by himself is a real test for us. I realize that baby and us have different agendas. Here we are focused on getting baby to eat. Whereas, baby is happy that he has been given the freedom to PLAY with food. He is more focused on what he can do with the utensil in his hand - push the food around, trying to cut the food, tossing the food, occasionally using it to put food in his mouth, trying to scoop food from your plate etc.... It's a tough stage but it's vital that we don't give up. It's easier to just continue feeding them ourselves. Easier BUT not beneficial.
BabyD at this age has also mastered the art of getting pity. When I scold him, he will cry tragically to his daddy. When daddy scolds him, he will come running to me. When we both scold him, he will seek out jie-jie (big sister). He will put his hands to his eyes and motion for you to wipe away his tears. When you ask him what happened, he will complain in his own baby way (coz' he can't talk yet). Fantastic this baby. The other day at church, he went from one auntie to another, pointing to a tiny mosquito bite on his hand. With his cutie pie face, you can imagine the pampering he got.
Oh baby, baby. You make life very interesting... and exhausting.