The babies are just about twelve months corrected age (15 months calendar), and in terms of most their gross motor skills they are doing okay. They have many of the gross motor skills expected of babies their corrected age, though there are some gaps. Both the babies are crawling very quickly now, they can pull themselves up easily into the standing position, they feed themselves very well using their hands, and they can drink from a sippy cup or straw -- but it ain't always pretty. Both babies are getting physical therapy each week now. Maddy, in particular, is having some persistent trouble and has been working with physical therapist over the last couple weeks. Her problems mostly relate to her very jagged movements and limited range of motion. This is probably due to her reflux. She has shown good improvement this week, but she still tends to crawl with her head down a lot and bumps into things. Similarly, her lack of flexibility makes balancing a challenge and she falls over often. (A helmet was proposed, but it doesn't look like it will be necessary -- thankfully.) One of the other little habits she's developed is that she almost always kneels rather than sits. Doesn't sound too bad, but her kneeling style places a lot of extra pressure on her knees. The good news is that the PT really seems to be helping.
In terms of their social and emotional development, the babies are basically on track, if a little behind, and seem to be between 9 and 12 months in terms of their behavior. They are both affectionate and are very excited to see familiar faces. They do show fear of strangers, but they tend to get over it and want to make friends quickly. They definitely show anywhere from some to a lot of anxiety when Elaine and I go to leave, which is normal. They try to cooperate and help with simple tasks like getting dressed. Though, changing Milo's diaper has become similar to wrestling with a greased pig.
The kids have adjusted well to daycare in general. They just finished their third week, and appear to like interacting with the other kids and teachers. The daycare is located on Coast Guard Island only a few blocks from my office, so I'm able to sneak down for a visit most days.
Other strange preemie things: Some of you may be wondering why both babies seem to be stuck with only their first two bottom teeth. Turns out very premature babies typically get their teeth late - often much later than other babies of similar corrected age. But the good news is that the teething still started right on time. :) Maddy looks like she may have a couple more on the way.
As is so often said of preemie development, it is truly a roller coaster ride. Often, it seems like the things that are a problem one day suddenly resolve overnight. So who knows? Maybe they'll take another big leap forward in the next couple weeks. They're due!