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Our dining table is a sore subject, primarily because things get stacked on it that shouldn’t be. Like the camera, mail, kid swimsuits. And ASL flashcards that we purchased for ourselves so we could learn and then teach the kids. One day, one of the kids saw the boxes and asked for “more”. And now, we can’t serve them a meal without doing sign language flashcards at the table. BUT HOW CUTE ARE THEY SIGNING?
We’re not really sure if this was his first sign. But while we were out to lunch on Sunday, he held his fist out and brought it to his face. And then thrust his fist out and left it there. Like we should just KNOW. And so we made a bottle and sure enough, he ate up. Though, now that I think about it, he never denies a bottle.
A few months ago, we ordered a copy of Sign With Your Baby by Joseph Garcia. The book suggests to begin doing signs around the 7th month, but because we figured OUR learning curve was greater than that of the twins, we started earlier. We have mainly focused on Milk, Eat (now that they’re on solids), All Gone, More, and Jump (they love the friggin’ Jumperoo).
On Sunday, I was returning from a trip to Whole Foods with Harper and while I was on the phone with Matou, I saw her do the sign for “Milk”. I squealed and shed tears. And then I got all accountant-like and figured I was seeing what I wanted to see and that the action was purely coincidental. Until I noticed the time on the clock which reflected Dinner Time.
And she did it again.
And again the next morning when it was time to eat breakfast. She’d make the Milk sign and then bring her hand toward her mouth, like the sign for Eat. And we’re talking deliberate movements here, as opposed to Baby Flailing.
I joyously called Grandma Yoyi to share the news and my mother’s response, as any grandmother is wont to do, said “Feed them enough so the poor kids won’t have to be signing to you in the car.” As if witholding food was intentional. Maybe the next time an ear infection creeps up we’ll delay antibiotics so we can teach them the sign for Hurt.
I’m thinking we’ll be continuing down this road of supplementing verbal communication with non-verbal communication. I rather like the idea of them being able to tell us something when we don’t yet know their language and they don’t yet know ours. Or as my sister so eloquently stated, that they figure out “damn, this shit really works!”