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April 24, 2010

Crude Gestures

...or at least exaggerated gestures, which certainly could be considered rude in another context…

I have posted so much about this topic over the past few weeks that I feel like I should change the name of this blog to “Adventures in Baby Sign Language”. I won’t do that just yet, but it underscores how much fun we’re having with the girls and their new communication skills.

The girls know a lot of signs…useful ones like eat, milk, more, all done, and sleep. And they know a lot of common things in their world of play…book, ball, airplane, as well as a whole list of animals. I haven’t perfected the ability to read their minds yet (much to their chagrin), but I know there must be so many other things they want to say but don’t know the sign.

It’s happened a few times that the girls have been trying reeeeally hard to tell me something. They had a very intense look about them, and they were signing “MORE!!!” as hard as they could go. “More” didn’t make sense in that context (at least to me). It left me trying to guess what they wanted, and they only got more aggressive with their signing, punctuating it with grunts and whines.

As I was trying to figure out what my little Lassie-girls were trying to show me (and I knew that Timmy couldn't have fallen in the well), it made me think about the tendency to speak more loudly, and in a more exaggerated fashion, to someone who doesn’t speak English.

It’s not really that helpful after all. :)


Sadia said...

Native signers call exaggerated gestures "yelling". It's exactly the same thing as raising our voices to folks who don't speak our language. ;)

For what it's worth, I recently removed "Twice the Confusion" from my blog title, because my girls are so verbally competent that it's not really relevant.

Jeremi said...

Hey, thanks for stopping over at my blog!! It's always fun to hear from new people : )

Your History of Hair post was cute to read, as are your two girls!!

Have a great Sunday : )

Anonymous said...

when did you start teaching them sign language? do you have a method/book that you would recommend??

KimnSteve said...

This one made me laugh! My boys are 11 months and just signed "more" back to me this week - love it! And I'm amazed at how dependent I've become on my internet connection, as well. I get all grumpy if I can't access it when i want to!