They Declared Her...

Cute! The people at the MYND Institute have decided that Mali is, if nothing else, an absolutely darling baby. Well, duh. But it's nice to hear.

The study leader, who is a developmental pediatrician, also told me that Mali looks just fine to her, right now. Our baby's avoidance of confrontational eye contact from her frantic mother, and spastic arm flapping, are not worrisome at this point.

This doctor spent a good long time with our girl, observing her and even holding Mali in her lap for some of the eye-movement tracking studies. I was relieved that Mali kept twisting around in the doctor's lap to look up at her face for reassurance.

There were ever so many movement and interactivity tests. I freaked out a bit because Mali wasn't able to do many of the things they set up, but then realized (and was later reassured) that there were a lot of "ceiling" items that some but not all babies can do at her age. Lots of the tests, such as joint attention, aren't expected to be in place for another six months.

It was nice to hear the researchers remarking on some of the things Mali's doing that I probably would never take notice of as significant, like her self-soothing hand sucking or transferring of items from one hand to another.

Mali was compliant for the tests, but tired, and so not at her very best. She cried for the entire last 30 minutes of our inbound leg (Sacrament0 is FAR), and needed at least three nursing breaks and one nap mid-study. That must be why she wouldn't smile at me when I tried to get her to do so specifically (although she smiled at me five thousand other times), wouldn't really look at the cute baby in the mirror, wouldn't hold a cheerio in a pincer grip, and wouldn't try to grab an object placed on the floor in front of her while she was on her tummy. She did all these things except the command-smile when we got home. Plus really good sitting up for at least a count of four.

I forgot to ask the pediatrician if I should worry about Mali not having found her toes yet (Iz found them at four months, and even Leelo found his at six months), or about her funny head shape. The pediatrician did say I could call her at any time. However, Mali's formal 6 month assessment, with her new pediatrician, is on Thursday. I can wait two days.

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