Scarlett went back to daycare on Tuesday morning and Paul drove them back up to Baltimore. She had swimming again that night. I had to work late most nights last week, so there wasn't too much activity. On Friday, I was home with Scarlett. After her nap, we left to go to the University of Maryland's child development lab for her 12-month visit. This time she had a cognitive test (among other things). I guess they don't typically tell you the results unless there is something wrong, but I told them I wanted to know, so they gave me ranges. In some cases the ranges are pretty wide, but here's how she did:
1. Gross Motor: 21-26 month range
2. Visual Perception: 21-32 month range
3. Fine Motor: 18 - 29 month range
4. Receptive Language: 15-22 month range
5. Expressive Language: 15-23 month range.
As a psychologist, it was interesting to watch the testing. It was a standardized test of course, but knowing my baby and what she is exposed to, there were certain things that I knew she knew the concept but she wasn't responding in the lab. For example, in one of the tests, the researcher would say "give it to me" first without nonverbal gestures, then, if she didn't respond, she would add a hand gesture (pointing to the palm of her hand with her arm extended). She didn't usually respond to the oral only command, but she did respond to the nonverbal. I know that she never hears "give it to me" but she does hear and respond to "can I have that/it?" on a regular basis. There were a few other things where she was just clearly not as comfortable in the lab as she is at home, so she responded a little differently than she normally does. That being said, it seemed like a pretty reasonable test and I think it was fairly representative of her abilities (probably more ahead in physical abilities than in verbal abilities; although I think her receptive language skills are much better than her expressive skills, but maybe that's the norm). The main thing is that she seems to be on track with everything, so I was happy with that! We feel like she is doing great, but since she is our first child, sometimes it is hard to know what is typical at a certain age.
After the appointment, we stopped at my friend Bob's house in Adelphi. I hadn't seen Bob in about 3 years, so this was his first time meeting Scarlett. She warned up to him very quickly and even more quickly to his house. She ran around trying to get into everything. She tried to rip up or throw his mail everywhere, play with his DVDs, and find all available electrical sockets. He just kept commenting on her energy level. Eventually we had to get us both fed, so we headed to Greenbelt to go to the Silver Diner. There were a bunch of babies there, which of course made her want to run around the restaurant to play with all of them, but only after she destroyed the table. I guess she must have gotten some food in her mouth, but with the amount on the floor under the table, it was hard to know how.
On Saturday I had to teach in the morning and got back late, but I made sure to be home in time to catch some daylight. The weather has been just gorgeous here lately so we wanted to take advantage of it and go outside to play. We packed Scarlett up and took the Custis Trail to the larger playground nearby. There was a birthday party going on, so it was pretty crowded. Scarlett has been going through a pretty clingy/shy phase, so she seemed very intimidated by all of the kids and didn't want us to put her down (unless it was in a swing). She got to play with a puppy, but other than that we decided it was best if we headed to a smaller playground near our house that tends to be less busy.
We had to run (hills and all!) to make it there before it got dark. There she had a great time. She loves one of the slides there and just wants to go on it over and over again. As usual, she started crying when it was time to go. We ended up going out for dinner to a restaurant right by our house (http://www.portabellos.net/). Scarlett was in rare form. All of that shyness went right out the window when our super nice waiter gave her a friendly greeting a paid a lot of attention to her. That's all it took to get her out of her shell. Then, we couldn't get her back IN her shell... She wanted to run all over the restaurant (literally) and say "hi" to all of the other patrons. She went up to each table giving them a huge smile and waving before running on to the next. She made sure to give some attention to the employees as well. She was in heaven. The place has a very neighborhood feel and everyone was really nice about the baby running wild through the aisles. Yes, we are now those parents (never in a million years would I have called that one!). Each table made sure to tell her how adorable and happy she is and ask her name and age. One table thanked us for providing the entertainment during an otherwise mundane dinner. Lets just hope that was how they really felt! Scarlett has a pretty crazy palate for a 1 year old. At dinner she had vegan squash soup (which was quite spicy and made her stick out her tongue, but she kept asking for more), spinach and ricotta ravioli with pesto sauce and fresh tomatoes, a little bit of seabass, and panko crusted portabello mushrooms. She loved all of it.
We actually got her to bed pretty early (for her) that night and unlike most nights lately, she slept through the night. The poor kid recently cut a molar on her bottom left side (her 5th tooth) and now the bottom right is SUPER swollen and she seems to be in pain again. She is a trooper though and keeps a good attitude about it most of the time -- she just shoves everything in her mouth.
Today we met up with Jacy, Joel, and Liam in Alexandria to go jogging on the Mount Vernon trail. Jacy and I are trying to band together to finish off the rest of our baby weight and get back into shape (yet another benefit of having them back in the area!) and this was our first session. We started at my office and went north toward National Airport. We had each of the babies in a stroller and our plan was to rotate them among the four of us since running with a stroller is much more challenging than running without. The turns really ended up being 80% Joel and Paul and 20% me and Jacy after a while because it's a very hilly trail and it turns out that the boys are in far better shape! In the end, Joel said we did about 5 1/4 miles (some walking in there though!). The babies took a nap during the ride, so it worked out pretty well. We're hoping to do it again soon. That trail is 18 miles long and connects to the Custis trail, which is another 45 miles long, so we could cover a lot of ground if we tried to run a different part of it each time!
After the jog we grabbed some lunch and they headed home while we stopped at a playground before heading back. More fun on the swings and slides for Scarlett. Once we got home, we were all pretty tired. Scarlett played with all of her toys for an hour or two while Paul got some work done and I took a cat nap. After dinner, we put on some 80s music and danced around the house, which is probably one of Scarlett's favorite things to do. She is a dancing machine and loves to laugh at us while we dance around in a very goofy, exaggerated way. We also did some wrestling and playing chase. She was finally worn out enough to go to bed around 10PM.
This week will be Scarlett's second Thanksgiving, but it seems like it is her first. Paul's birthday is on Friday, so she and I have some planning to do to make sure he feels sufficiently spoiled. The best part about the holiday week is that the three of us will get to spend four full days together in a row! It seems like that never happens unless we're traveling somewhere. Bring on the Turkey!