The Real Signing Aunt: Squeeze the Udder!

It worked!  It worked!  My last post with all it’s mooshiness inspired (I like that word better than guilted) my sister into writing about her experience signing with her niece and nephew.  

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I think my dear sister could have been a bit more mooshy. The more flattery the more effective the guilt.

Kathy is right about one thing, though, I am a fantastic Aunt. Jackson and Lily make it easy. I adore them. If I were to be honest, I probably adore them more than all of my favourite people combined. They are sweet, smart and very funny.

I remember when Kathy first told me that she was going to teach Jackson baby sign language. To say I was skeptical is an understatement. Cynicism practically oozed from my pores right up until the first time I saw Jackson sign. That’s all it took to make me a believer. It was a learning experience for all of us. As Jackson learned new signs so did I. There were times when I couldn’t keep up with his growing singing vocabulary and had to have regular refreshers from Kathy. To be able to communicate with Jack before he even spoke a word was inspiring. Signing supplemented Jackson while he was learning to talk. It was thrilling to hear his little voice, especially once he learned to say “Yoey”, my nickname, and would chant it and charge at me for a hug. Once he stopped using signs altogether I did find myself missing his wee hands talking to me.

When Lily entered our lives, I, along with the rest of the family, was eager to begin the signing process with her. Miss Lily’s journey with signing and speech was much different than her brother’s, however it was just as exhilarating. I can still hear Lily’s giggle when she’d sign and know that you understood her. It made my heart happy.

Jackson and Lily’s signing reflected their individual and unique personalities. Jackson was deliberate and accurate  whereas Miss Lily signed with wild abandon. Both of them left me in awe. Kathy introduced signing to their young lives and I truly believe that she opened up a whole new world for them, and for me.

My favourite sign is milk, simply because it makes me laugh. I may be the older sister but that doesn’t mean I’m more mature. The speech that Kathy referred to was aptly titled “Squeeze the Udder!”.  To anyone considering signing I would wholeheartedly say go head,  jump in and squeeze the udder! Not only will you be changing your babies life, you’ll be changing your own.

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