Friday, August 22, 2008

Contact! Baby Sign Language Rocks!

I talk to my kids all the time. I am communicating. They are trying to communicate, but face it: I'm not always so good at translating their noises clearly.

I fully admit that I understand that baby cries are supposed to mean different things, but frankly all I hear is "AaaaaaahieeeeeeeeeEEEE!" at assorted decibels. Instead, I go through my standard checklist: pain, diaper, hunger or boredom (If you've ever played the Sims, the baby checklist was Feed, Play, Sing. That works, too, except you've gotta get a diaper change in there.). However, as the twins get older, that checklist gets quickly exhausted and the screaming in frustration gets louder and louder.

The first time around, with Caitlin, we tried out baby sign language and found it worked like a charm. We didn't have a huge signing vocabulary, but what we did know and what she learned was awesome for helping her to communicate her needs to us. She was a lot less frustrated in that pre-verbal stage than she would have been otherwise. Now, we're doing it again with the twins.

Today, Emma showed me that it's really (Finally!) working with her after she was done eating lunch in her highchair. She got my attention and started waving both arms in the air and turning her hands. It took me a moment to realize it was her signal for "All done". (See this link for details.)

It was, in a word: awesome.

I've known for some time that they understand me. It's the reverse that is somewhat harder.

Now if only I could get Caitlin to listen to me!

"What's de sign for 'I want a pony'?"


The Hunky Gardener said...

I love the pic of the columbine on your blog header!

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Thanks, HG! It's from my xeric front yard. Have a look around!

Ali said...

So good to know that feeling dorky will be a small price to pay once the dude figures out that I'm not just waving my hands in his face.

Ali said...

Say, how do you get those snazzy borders around your photos?

Cousin Janet from NY said...

Wow I just spent 1/2 hour reading about the baby signing & watching their video etc. Sent it to my future daughter in law - I think it's really awesome too. I better start studying it now so in around 4 or 5 years when they have kids I might know it by then. Try the cheese muffins on Pioneer Woman's website. They're fabulous!

Elaine A. said...

I almost passed out the day my little guy first signed "milk!" I was SO proud of both of us! Ha!

It's been great for us because he's not saying a lot of words at 15 months (whereas my other son was practically talking in sentences by now...)

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Ali: signing is totally worth feeling like a dork. It will kick in, it just takes constant repetition. Also, the borders I get from Photoshop work. It's the "stroke" command.

Janet: it's easier than it seems. You're no dummy!

Elaine: it's a great feeling, isn't it? Suddenly, they can communicate!

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