My baby is communicating with me! I know that technically she has been communicating since the day she was born, but my little lady has been signing for a few weeks now and I marvel at the deliberate communication that is going on in our house. It is limited to “all done” and “more,” but it is just so amazing that my now 10-month-old girl who hasn’t said “mama” or “dada” yet can let me know what she wants.
Miss Madelyn cracks me up because she’ll begin signing "all done" the minute she tastes something she doesn’t like. Peas? All done. Green beans? All done. Yet in the same sitting she’ll polish off peaches, Cheerios and a slice of bread (one of her favorites). “All done” was limited to mealtime, but just this week she broke it out when I was wiping her nose.
As a writer and an avid reader, words are one of my top priorities. It is so exciting to watch Madelyn’s first “words” emerge. Do you sign with your kids? How old were they when they made their first signs? I wish I would’ve kept better notes on Evan’s signing. His baby book is empty, which I chalk up to the fact that I was too busy living to write down the details. I do know that I was blown away the first day he started signing in sentences, which came long before he could speak in them. (His first sentence in sign was “More fish crackers.”)
Our favorite signing tools are the Signing Time DVDs. Madelyn isn’t watching them yet, but they are where our family learned to sign, and Evan and I still watch them even though he is four. Plus, I’ve spent so much time via DVD with Rachel Coleman, I feel like she is my friend. Seriously—I start to miss her if we spend too much time apart (you can blog stalk her here).
Most libraries have Signing Time DVDs, but if you’re like me, you’ll pay so much in late fees you might as well buy them for your home library. (And, I just want to note that I am not getting anything from Signing Time. I am a true fan.)
If you don’t sign with your kiddos, I highly suggest you give it a try. It will boost their vocabulary and give them communication tools you won’t believe.
I haven’t captured any pics of Miss Madelyn signing yet, but here is one (circa 2008) of then 15-month-old Evan making his sign for water. (Look at that belly!) I can’t believe that now he is old enough to be teaching his little sister to sign. Who would have thought?