Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Increasing our sign-abulary

Yesterday my 16 month old finally did something I have been waiting for. You know how you can't wait for them to start crawling and when they do you suddenly remembers that means they won't just hang out peacefully chillin on their boppy anymore?

Well in the Baby Signing process, I have now hit that mark. My little one has learned to ask what the sign for something is- and she wants to to know what everything in her big, exciting world is. Her little hands were fairly flying as she ran from the TV- barely pausing to flip her hands palms up and raise her little brows, before she scurried off to the kitchen.

At first I thought she was hungry, but after she signed "open", and I obliged, pulling open the cupboard she was standing under. She kept repeating "what?" insistently so I signed "where?" and she countered with "up". I lifted her and she pointed to the bag of pretzels she has been loving lately. I signed "eat?" to which she shook her head emphatically. Her tiny shoulders got involved with the "what?" sign and her big eyes begged me to give her the label for her beloved snack.

Faced with the decision to give it a general label she already knew (like "cracker") or run look it up- I opted for the easy way out, but she wasn't going for it. She shook her head so that her blonde curls were still bouncing when she stopped and very seriously signed "what" one last time. She knew they weren't crackers! I realized that as adorable and thrilling as this was, it means she is ready to learn more signs and my current lexicon is limited.

While I am looking forward to gathering a group together and coaching other moms and their little tykes- it is a bit daunting. There are so many words out there! The immersion and being able to practice with others will refresh my memory (I can't believe it has been 13 years since my ASL classes in college- and ya know what they say about not using it...) so for now I have bookmarked my favorite online ASL dictionary.

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