Sign of the times

I always knew I wanted to try and do sign language with my kids.  As with many things, the difference between what I imagined while pregnant and what became my actual reality… yeah.  I just plain don’t spend big blocks of time every day doing signs with my kids.  I don’t have the fluency or ease to just add it into my everyday speaking.  And I just apparently didn’t have the mental energy or dedication.

But, still, we took the class together back when the kids were littler, and when we remember, we try to do the signs. Especially once they started trying to mimic a lot of sounds and were clearly picking up on the receptive language front, I tried to do it a bit more.  Still, not much.

And then, all of a sudden, Rebecca spontaneously started signing “more” when she wanted to go down the slide again.  It’s not that we’d never done the sign with her, but we truly hadn’t been doing it all that much.  But there she went.  Since then, she’s becoming a signing machine.  Among the words she’s picked up recently (at least that I can recognize): more, please, dog, duck, cat, light, daddy, and possibly fish.  She also has started waving and saying “hi” whenever I’m on the phone, and she likes to pat Daniel on the head and attempt to say “Daniel.”  (Everything she says is pretty much “da da” with slight differences in inflection.)

Daniel, for his part, sticks with the trusty “light.”  And he waves, which often looks like and/or turns into “light.”  What’s funny is when I’m giving them a snack, I’ll ask if he wants more and I’ll keep doing the sign. Rebecca, already with a mouthful, is frantically signing more and sometimes throws in a “please” for good measure.  Daniel just grins and shrieks, which clearly means “hell yes, I want more!  Why would I need to do that funny thing with my hands? You already know what I want!”  Smart kid.

If I could get my damn video camera to cooperate with my computer, I’d try to get some footage of her signing.  But in the meantime, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

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8 Comments

Filed under Child Development

8 responses to “Sign of the times

  1. Do you guys watching Signing Time? (It’s on PBS for free!) I found watching Signing Time was the best way to increase my signing vocab and the kids liked it because they have songs. I can’t even tell you the number of times signing “banana” prevented a tantrum in our house!

    Crap now I have the stupid theme song stuck in my head.

  2. That’s awesome. 🙂 Go Rebecca! And too cute about Daniel hehe

    My sister’s kid (who will be two next week) knows a crap-load of signs. And what they didn’t know, they made up – so he’s got these really strange signs going on for some things, but it works.

    When Burke was younger, he knew we wanted him to sign to get things (open, more, please, etc.) and he’d just go through every single sign he could remember trying to hit the right one LOL

  3. awesome! i am the same way, i always had intentions of singing and signing often, but it doesn’t come naturally so it doesn’t fit into our daily activities as often as i would like it to. however, they do pick up on the signs and will sign a few things with regularity such as all done and more! i think i need to pick up on teaching because they are really receptive to it right now!

  4. Awwwww…that is wonderful! Will look forward to seeing them in action. You brought back great memories of the kids trying to say each other’s names. 🙂 Fun, fun, fun ahead!

  5. Faith is a signing machine, while Jonathan relies on grunts, pointing, shrieking and body contortions! Do you think this is a male vs female thing?

    In the last 2 days, Faith signed “car,” “monkey” and “something else I can no longer remember.” All signs I didn’t even know she knew. It is very rewarding when what you worked to teach them starts working. One of my favorite things about signing is being able to communicate with my kids and husband while on the phone or across the room. Today I signed “ball” to my husband while he was on the phone and he found it for the kids. Pretty cool actually.

  6. Lisa

    As a former Deaf Ed teacher, I never sign enough to my singleton–and I am fluent in ASL! I sign a lot, but no one else around my kiddo will even attempt it, so she is only signing “more” consistently. My mother in law is so afraid that if I teach the kiddo signs, she will not talk (which is SO not true!) so she refuses to sign to her–and she is with her a lot…sigh.

    I am thrilled Rebecca is signing. It truly makes things so much easier when they can tell you what they want–and if Daniel can get his message across without it, he’ll continue to do that.

  7. I loved signing with my kids. And oddly enough, it was part of what keyed me into their speech problems…they weren’t picking up signs OR speaking.

    Eventually, of course, they both signed and spoke.

    Isn’t it so fun when they start to interact with you??

  8. We started with sign as a primary means of communication with our hard of hearing son, but the irony is, we did it before we knew he was deaf in one ear. We LOVE Signing Time, and its been totally awesome. Now, wherever we go, our little one gets looks when he signs, and I sign and talk to him. But one day, I just know, that we will go to a playground, or a park, or something, and some other little kid will know the signs, and it will totally rock our world! Thanks for signing with your kids, it really does make a difference!! 🙂

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