When Sophie was born, we agreed to be part of a two year study through Johns Hopkins that tracked her growth. Up until now it has been fairly low effort on our part. All we have to do is come in a little early for her regular pediatric appointments and the researchers weigh and measure her. Then I answer a few questions about her dining habits and we're on our way with a $10 gift card to Target in hand. Which, as I was telling a friend, is like that free hit of crack. I get that gift card in my pocket and I start thinking that I should go and spend it. The next thing you know I'm walking out of Target with $100 worth of stuff I didn't need for the bargain price of $90.
This past Friday, Sophie had her 15 month well baby appointment. The good news: she now weighs 18 lbs and 11 oz and is back on the percentile chart, albeit the bottom end, but still. Even though Neil and I were sure that she had gained weight, I had steeled myself against the possibility that her weight gain was still too little. But for naught.
Usually, we have our study appointments before the doctor's visit, but for some reason they switched it up this time. Which meant that by the time we got in to see them, Sophie had just sat, naked, in a sterile room for an hour, followed by two shots. It is an understatement to say that we neither of us were in peak form. Which is why the usually easy measurements went very badly, in fact the research person was not able to get the one that involves attaching little electrodes to her feet and hands and I think measures body fat. I should probably know that for sure. Bad mommy. And then after much crying, wriggling, screaming and general unhappiness, the researcher tells me that Sophie has to wear this little monitor on her ankle for the next four days and that I have to track her activity, on an hourly basis, for that entire time.
I'm about four seconds from telling her what I think of her monitor, when she pulls out the gift card and all is forgiven. Damn you, Target, why can't I resist you?
So we left with my daughter tagged like a housebound felon. The researcher said that most kids forget about it as soon as you get them dressed and this was mostly true. Although she often played with it while I struggled to change her diaper, for the most part she ignored it. And as it turns out, filling out the forms to track her activity wasn't as much of a pain as I thought it would be either.
I took the monitor off today and sent it back to the research group. It wasn't so bad, but glad to be done with it. My girl has been paroled.