Our little Meatball has been an all in her own time kind of gal, mostly when it comes to her gross motor skills, but when Mary had her 15 month well baby visit I asked the pediatrician when we should be concerned about her not walking. She said while it wasn't uncommon and she suspected Mary would be walking soon, she was going to give me the information about a state funded program called Babies Can't Wait. They could do an assessment on Mary and determine if she qualified for any of their services. They assess all areas of a child's development and while Mary was slow to walk, she wasn't considered "delayed" and scored too high to qualify for physical or occupational therapy. She took steps at 16 months, but wasn't really proficient at walking until 17 months. The one area she did qualify for service was in speech therapy. This didn't come as a surprise and I was really glad that even while so young she could get help early on. Speech is the most common developmental delay in children and with early help, she's likely to have no serious set backs. The reason she qualified for services was that at 16 months when she was assessed she didn't babble as much as a typical 16 month old and had very few words.
Mary has been seeing a speech therapist for almost two months now, but as we were told, her speech would likely pick up on its own once she started walking. Babies can only handle so much developmentally, so once they master one skill they can move on to the next. I really think that has been the case with Mary. While her verbal skills are definitely improving, she's always been good at communicating. She signs better than Finn ever did and makes it known what she wants. Usually it's food. She's started to repeat a lot of words and even has a few compound words. Here's a cute video of just a few of the words she has now:
Mary also was referred to a pediatric endocrinologist. Nothing serious, she's just a little shortie. But seeing as though Miles is "5'6" on a good day" and I'm not quite 5'4", we knew we weren't going to be making any giants. But we are electing to do genetic testing, specifically to rule out that Mary isn't just short due to genetics (most likely) and not a growth hormone deficiency or a few other reasons for "short stature" like any kidney or liver issues. If there is anything conclusive from the blood test we may have Finn tested as well, but while short, he's not nearly as small as little Meatball. When asking if we even wanted to do the testing, the doctor said, "I can tell you aren't really concerned" and he's right - I'm not, really. Mary is happy and healthy and that's all that matters to me. But we just want to know for certain, after all, we've always joked about pumping Finn full of HGH to give him a fighting chance. We've been very fortunate that Mary and Finn have both always had good healthy upward curves for their growth, they just are on their own curve, not the average kiddo's.
But at the end of the day, short or slow to chat, I'm just so thankful for this little gal of ours and love seeing her developments. Truth be told, I'm glad she's little. I want her to stay a baby for as long as possible!