Starting to get mouthy

Lily is 22 months and we haven’t really heard her voice yet.  She gives us little teasers every so often, like a ‘da’ at 9 months or a ‘ba’ at 13, but these syllables are often followed by long periods of cheeky silence.  Lily  is a strong willed, determined, funny, stubborn, beautiful girl and I can’t even imagine what life will become once she harnesses the power of the spoken word.  She’s powerful (read: loud) enough as it is.  It’s incredible how much noise a child can make when they’re only signing.  I’ve been duly warned that I will miss these quiet moments, and I’m sure this is true, but I would trade silence in a heartbeat to hear her little voice. 

This past week was incredible for watching Lily’s signing vocabulary grow.  She made the sign for ‘shoes’ for the first time in exasperation as she was desperate to play in the rain.  When I said ‘no, it’s too cold’ she shook her head, pointed down and then with brows furrowed, she signed ‘shoes’ with as much sass as she could muster. 

I truly don’t know where we would be if we weren’t signing with Lily.  With Jackson it was all fun.  He was a signing machine, started speaking fairly early and hasn’t stopped  except to breath or chew since.    Using sign with Lily has still been incredibly fun and provided us with laughs and insight but it’s been much more utilitarian than with Jackson.

 Some of the signs that she is now using consistently are: 

banana, more (her most used sign), eat, dog, shoes, bird, fish, bath, finished, please (another favorite – she knows I have a hard time saying ‘no’ to the sign for please!), monkey, peas, apple, cat, flower, milk (a longstanding favorite of Lily’s), thank you, cookie, sleep, pig, daddy, bear, mom, hat, car, water, and book. 

It’s so sweet to watch her working on new signs  Her little hands seem to be going all the time now. We don’t always know what they’re trying to say in the midst of her excited frenzy to tell us what she’s seeing but it’s amazing to watch all the same.   The smiles and giggles when she realizes that you’ve understood make my heart melt each time. 

This week has been huge for verbal milestones as well.  While playing with the flash cards instead of making the sign for milk as she was showing me the card, she made a ‘mmmmm’ sound followed by the sign.  And ‘peas’ was always preceded by a big open-mouth ‘puh’. 

Hopefully this week will bring more of the same and not a week of quiet where her beautiful big eyes twinkle with mischeif, almost singing ‘I gave you plenty last week – just be patient’.

~Kathy

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