We've heard a number of times that younger siblings develop faster because they watch their older siblings do things and then imitate those older children. Today we got to see this principle in action.
Up until now, Ellie has picked up her small treats, even put them to her mouth a few times, but with no intention of feeding herself. I can help/force her to put treats to her mouth but she usually drops them on the way or smashes them in her hand - obviously these are better uses of the food since eventually I will feed her....
But today, Ellie watched our friend Kelly's baby girl Tess, who is about 1.5 months older than Ellie, eating graham crackers. She just stared. Kelly asked if we wanted a graham cracker for her and we took a small piece even though we weren't sure what Ellie would think of it. She took the piece of graham cracker and immediately put it in her mouth, something we've been trying to help her do with her smaller treats for quite some time. She just took it right back out, doing this a few times. So I broke off a small piece for her to try, and she enjoyed it. I helped her get the cracker to her mouth to see what she would do, and she proceeded to feed herself the rest of the cracker! It was great!
We don't have any graham crackers at home, but we wanted to reinforce this behavior, so we got out some butter crackers we bought the other day and handed her one. She fed herself right off, and even figured out biting pieces of cracker off after a little while! So, we are excited. Our little girl is self feeding for the first time, and we hope this will lead to lots of Ellie created food messes as she becomes a more independent eater. Needless to say, we will be buying graham crackers soon.
Oh, and the reason the camera is being ignored for the most part... Two words. NBA playoffs.