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March 3, 2011

Fleeting Signs of Babyhood

It was about this time a year ago that the girls’ sign language was starting to really take off.

They had long since mastered the signs central to basic tasks…eat, drink, sleep, more, all done. Looking at pictures recently, I was reminded how they were beginning to take a lot of joy in learning new signs, especially those for animals.

It was so much fun to “read” a book with them as they signed the pictures, or point to birds and cats and dogs and squirrels as we’d see them on our walks through the neighborhood.

These days, the girls are taking a lot of joy in what they can say outright, their hands shoved deep in their pockets. (They love to find pockets on their pants…well, except when Baby B shows some particularly Southern tendencies and gestures wildly with her hands while she “explains” something in great detail [no idea where she got that…ahem].)

The girls can carry on pretty full conversations. Their level of understanding still outweighs what they can say, but their vocabulary is growing every single day.

It’s so amazing what the girls can say and do…but I have to admit a little piece of me misses their tiny hands engaged in sign.

Fortunately, I still get glimpses from time to time, usually in the heat of emotion.

When the girls see, or even hear, a puppy doggy on our walks, they almost always start slapping their knees. It’s like their excitement spills beyond the verbal, and they just have to express themselves physically, too.

They also still sign “more” – in addition to saying it. I’ve heard so many people say that that was the only sign their children ever knew, and that river must run deep. It’s like they feel the need to convey to me in as many ways possible that they NEED more pineapple (or whatever the food du jour is).

I still sign to them occasionally, usually a silent reminder to say “please” or “thank you”. That’s a nice little trick, by the way, as unknowing folks think my kids are innately polite. :)

I love, love, love that the girls can TALK now, and they never cease to amaze me with what they come up with. I know the girls will eventually phase out of signing altogether, but I’m enjoying these fleeting signs of babyhood as long as I can.


Mandy said...

I love that our girls are starting to pick up sign-as they learn to talk! This would have been soo much more helpful over the last 6 months but whatevs!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I love my children signing too - I think it's so cute! They still sign for milk every night. So I play and say, "oh, you want water?" and then they pump those little fists harder til I laugh and say, "ok babies, I'll go fetch your milk".

Anonymous said...

i love that my kids sign, too. they're talking more and more, but still signing, too. it's so cute and i love that we can communicate!

Andrea said...

Awwww....why is it then growing up have to be so exciting and sad at the same time?!?!

Barbara Manatee said...

All 3 of mine still sign, too. Sarah probably the most of them. She still likes to learn new signs, too. She uses it a lot still when she's either really excited or upset.

Adam has been talking like CRAZY lately. So much that tonight (amidst his crazy, noisy, frantic, non-stop talk/whine during dinner) that i even asked him who taught him so many!

Rebecca said...

That's too cute! I never really did signing, but I'm sure we'll have a few in the coming years that will be unmistakable!

reanbean said...

The language explosion just keeps getting better and better during the two-year-old year. At least, that's how it was for us. I didn't do nearly as much signing as you did, but Tiny still occasionally signs more, please, stop, and play. I also sometimes still use the signs for please and thank you to remind my kids to be polite. It's nice to have a silent reminder like that.