Monday, April 27, 2009

One Year Check-Up

Kailey had her one year check up today. One year! I still cannot get over how fast this last year went. While the nurse was walking us back to the room she asked me, "does she stand on her own?" "yes," I responded. Then she walked us over to the scale - the adult scale - and told me to stand Kailey up. Ummm... yes, she stands on her own. But, no, she won't do it on command. Kai did her spaghetti leg maneuver a few times while the nurse raised an eyebrow at me. We weighed her on the baby scale.

Then the doctor examined her, balling up a little piece of paper and holding it out for her to grasp. Kai looked at the paper, looked at him, looked at the paper, looked at him... this went on for awhile. She had her raised eyebrow, "what are you trying to do to me, trick me? entice me? don't think I'm falling for your little games, buddy" look on her face. The same look she has whenever we offer her a bite of food. She sniffs it, opening her mouth just enough to get the slightest taste of whatever is on the spoon, all the while keeping one eye trained on whoever it is that is trying to feed her. If the food is a vegetable, she throws her head back, squinting her eyes, and HOLLERS. At that point, the meal is over. As if she has determined that the feeder is, indeed, the traitor she suspected and she will have no more of the trickery. It doesn't matter if you offer up a blueberry (her favorite food at the moment). She will not be fooled again. If it's anything else, she often engages in the same drama-queen behavior, but then decides, "well, i really should try another bite" and the meal proceeds.

Anyway, she evaluated the doctor and his little rolled up paper with the same sort of suspicion... clearly not wanting to fall for any of his little tricks. She didn't take the paper. After many minutes analyzing the situation, she reached her hand out and touched the paper, every so slightly, then withdrew her hand and cocked her head as if to say, "a piece of paper? you think that's interesting?" When it was clear she wasn't going to engage, the doctor asked, "can she grasp small objects?" Um... yes. She feeds herself a million Cheerios a day. He seemed satisfied with that. "Can she clap?" he asked, clapping his hands. Kai looked at the clapping, looked at me, and set her lips in this thin-lined pout that she gets when she is tired of people asking her to perform. She didn't clap, although, we assured the doctor she was, indeed, capable of clapping. He nodded. "What about pointing?" he asked, pointing at her. Kailey spends her day with her pointer finger on the ready. She points at anything and everything. When the doctor pointed at her, she looked away, while we tried to convince the doctor that pointing was among her favorite activities. "Waving?" he asked while waving. "yes..." we responded. Kai threw her head back and wailed. "Well, it looks like she's doing great." He said. Isn't he a nice doctor?

As we walked to the elevator, Kai started clapping, waving and pointing simultaneously at everyone and nobody. She waved and waved and waved and waved. A two handed wave, followed by one hand, then some quick clapping, a few quick points and back to the waving. This went of on until we got in the car. Yes, Kai... we know you can do it. The doc, though, he doesn't believe you.

But, the truth is, despite Kai's unwillingness to confirm how well she is doing while being evaluated, she is, in fact, doing great. She is learning new words so quickly these days -- she understands way more than she can say. The only words we have been able to discern are "daddy" "doggy" "maaaaa" "baaa" (for Abby) and, of course, grrrrrrr (her go-to sound whenever she wants to introduce herself to someone she finds particularly fetching). But, despite her limited ability to actually say words, if you ask her to wave, clap or point, she can do it (as long as there are no "strangers" around assessing her skills, of course). She also gives hugs and kisses on request, as well as high fives. If you ask her to bring her ball, she obliges. And, when eating, if we say, "are you done?" she'll throw her hands in the air in eager agreement.

Ahhhh... the joys of eating. Kai LOVES berries and quesadillas and has decided there is little point to eating much else (except Cheerios). She tolerates pizza crust, bananas, oatmeal, yogurt, string cheese, crackers, most other varieties of fruit, honey sticks and veggie bites. But, it all seems a little limited. When we tried to get her to eat wild salmon last night she acted as though we were torturing her. I do manage to squeeze in a few bites of whatever offensive food I am forcing her way at most meals. However, as noted above, I have to be strategic about when to introduce such foods in the meal, since the introduction of the food tends to end the meal. Kai was only in the 20th percentile for weight today -- so, having her get the calories she needs trumps my desire that she eat a full serving of spinach (at least for now).

After the doctor, we went to the NICU to drop off the donations from her party. The nurses ohhhed and ahhed at how big Kai has gotten. It was fun to see old friends. The nurses also tried to engage Kai in some waving or clapping. She was much less suspicious about their motives, smiling and laughing at their antics. But, still, unwilling to engage. As with the doctor, she spent the walk to the car waving at everyone she passed. That's our girl!


Anonymous said...

It was FABULOUS to meet Kai the other day -- she's wonderful. Plus, I love making cool new friends, and I'm pretty sure I made one in her. Hope we get to see each other again soon.

Sarah said...

Love that kid. Never give in, Kailey!