It’s official. Ian has used sign language for “drink” and “more” (food). He also signs “more” in the mirror when I’m holding him, just for his own amusement–which doesn’t count. He’s actually communicating.
Signing is useful, not because it teaches language a little earlier, but because it allows us to communicate. I remember when Sylvia learned to sign, she let us know that she wanted that blue cup–the one she had just seen, not the identical one we tried to give her. Without language, we would have never known why she was crying. Signing keeps parental blood pressure low.
Ian is crawling well, he’s signing… Grandma Catherine is going to be really surprised when she gets back next week to see how much he has changed in the last three weeks.
Also on the topic of language, witness the power of storytelling. For the past few weeks, I’ve been getting Sylvia to let me brush her teeth by telling her a story about her whale toothbrush. The climax of the story is the whale saying, “little girl, little girl, may I brush your teeth?” (In the last few days, she’s been avoiding answering the whale’s question. I’ve had to add the threat of an ogre to the story. But we’re still way better off than the fussing and crying she was doing before.)