In mothering, as in photography, the rule of thirds applies. Let me explain what it is in photography, before I launch into my own version of the rule. When a snapshot is divided into a 3 by 3 grid, the person/object of interest should be either at a grid point or along a grid line, depending on the shape.
I find it difficult to follow it, however, because all of that unused space gets to me.
The mothering rule of thirds walked into my head this afternoon, all formulated. At lunch time. We’ve graduated to biting into a banana like we’ve seen mom do. Bolstered by this (perhaps evanescent) success, I quite naively let M continue squishing food that she snatched out of her spoon. Right after I had been teaching her to raise her hands above her head on request. She has been clapping on request lately. So, I thought the time was ripe to explore what else can be done by clapping hands. Big mistake, combining it with lunch time. She unflinchingly proceeded to grab more food and smear it, where else, on her hair. The harder I tried to wipe it off with a wet washcloth before it congealed, the more food got into her hair, as she was trying to knock my intruding hands off her precious hair that she was valiantly trying to feed. End result, a third of the food got into her. A third got onto her and/or dropped to the floor. A third remained in the bowl because I gave it up as a lost cause.
Rule: As the quest for independence continues, getting a third of the food on offer into her is all I can aspire for. For now, for today, for lunch, the rule applies in its current form. As time goes on, I may have to settle with an increasing denominator. I am just going to have to make my peace with that. And have extra wet washcloths ready.
PS: Did I say that all of that unused space gets to me and that is why I cannot follow the rule of thirds in photography? I am no expert at either mothering or photography, but I get the feeling that one will help with the other.