Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What's Your Sign?


Of the quarter of a million words in the English language, Mia chose hi to be her first word. Isn't that precious? She says it all the time to whomever will listen. It is the only word she says. Until today, when to my surprise, she said mama. I can't deny how much that made me smile. Although, she doesn't quite look my way when muttering those two syllables so who knows if she actually means me. I'm trying my best not to compare her to Bella. It's hard because Bella is my only frame of reference but I think if I start comparing now it will become a slippery slope years from now. As the "fairest" one of all, I'm not worried that Mia isn't talking a whole bunch, because I know that she's got a really solid understanding of what's going on around her. It's all about the non-verbal communication these days. Man, I should have paid more attention in college. To make up for my drunken college days, I decided to redeem myself by enrolling in another communication class--a baby sign language class. I took it while I was pregnant with Bella 4 years ago and loved it!

The class was part of a program called Baby Signs

They claim that using their program:

• Reduces tears, tantrums and frustration

• Makes learning to talk easier

• Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence

• Stimulates intellectual development

• Strengthens the parent-child bond

I can't quite say that I agree with all of the afore-mentioned claims, but I do think it enhances the parent-child bond and I also think it really increases self-confidence. And not to mention, it's super fun to do with your child, so why the heck not, right?!

At about 9 months I began signing to Mia. There's a 3 month incubation time where you look like a complete idiot doing these signs over and over again while your child stares at you blankly. But sure enough, about three months later she began to sign back to me. I began with the basics, milk, eat, more and all-done. For example, this morning when I gave her a sippy cup filled with water, she looked at it, looked at me, then made the sign for milk. She's a picky one, huh? Then I slowly introduced her to more signs. Now, every time she hears our dog Rizzo or any other dog for that matter she starts panting and patting herself (that sounds really creepy, huh?). This week she has mastered the sign for please and now knows that if she wants anything from us she has to sign please first. I hope I don't sound like Mommy Dearest, because it's really not like that. I think it's great that a 15 month old is already learning her manners. I love watching her sign too-- her mind works faster than her little fingers do and sometimes she gets frustrated. It's the cutest thing and makes me all buttery inside.

Here's a little from her repertoire

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