Wow. Who knew this part would be so hard! I want to do things for him because they're what he wants, but he has to figure out ways to do them himself! Some examples:
--Finger foods: I've just started giving EZ little cereal puffs. It's like alphabet cereal. It's TORTURE to watch him try to get them in his mouth. He grabs and grasps until finally his fist closes around one piece of cereal. Then he brings it to his mouth, but lo and behold, his hand is in the way. If he can actually get it in his fingers, he still has such a hard time getting it all the way into his mouth. Jewel loves this process because I think she ends up with as many cereal pieces as he does! I want to just put them in his mouth because I know how frustrated I would be if it were me, but how else will he learn? This is so normal (and it's day TWO of attempting this!), a natural part of the process. But still. Hard on me! Oh yeah. And when he does get a cereal in his mouth, sometimes it falls out and he has to start ALL over!!!
--Toys out of reach: When Elijah's sitting on the floor playing and a toy rolls out of reach, I watch him do this elaborate rock/reach/balance/reach again maneuver to get it back. Occasionally, he face plants into the floor, and I want to jump up and prevent that happening, but I also want him to learn to crawl (which at this point seems forever away!!!). He has to have the motivation to move, and I can't keep returning toys to him or keeping him upright or he won't figure out crawling.
--Sitting: This one is past us, but when he was first learning how to sit up, I wanted to keep him from falling over by sitting right behind him and keeping him upright. This is fine for while he learns, but then once he was doing it, I had to leave him sitting there by himself so he could learn balance. He fell over some, and sometimes cried because it surprised him, but now he has excellent balance!
--Rolling Over: He has always hated being on his tummy, and before he learned to roll over, he'd cry and cry while on his tummy. But because we let him do that, he learned how to roll onto his back. Now, of course, he goes instantly to his back and I'm not sure how he'll ever learn to crawl, but oh well! :)