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.
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.
I love Spring and thought I’d share a little bouquet of flowers signs with you.
Mom because it’s one of my favourite signs.
Please because you asked (and it’s another of my favourite signs).
Bird because I have had a great time, along with the kids, watching the birds come out to play in the warm weather.
Spring brings with it a lot of opportunity to play and sign with your baby. Remember, you don’t have to set aside special time or have lessons – just make the sign as you’re talking with baby. Easy Peasy.
I ran into incredibly lovely people this morning – and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible. There are many things that irritate me but perhaps none more than rudeness, particularly when the individual is modelling the behaviour in front of their children.
People nowadays are in such a rush, overwhelmed and busy that common courtesy often seems to be a thing of the past. A woman this morning treated us, probably unknowingly, like we were completely invisible. In my oh-so-Canadian way I found myself moving Jack out of her path as she nearly knocked him over and uttering ‘Oh, sorry!’. I kicked myself for my auto-apology because she didn’t acknowledge what she’d done nor that we even existed. Moments later I held the door open for her and she brushed by us without even glancing in our direction let alone saying thank you. A little while later, when picking up some milk before heading to work, I was walking out of an isle as another mom, with baby in cart, was turning to get in. I again said ‘sorry’ and moved aside letting her go by. I stood there with the most ridiculous smile plastered on my face as I waited for her to acknowledge me with something other than a scowl as she very deliberately looked me up and down with utter disdain.
I am far from perfect and my children often times forget their manners. I try to use situations like this morning to teach Jack and Lily how important it is to remember your please and thank you’s; that we are no more or less important than anyone else and that the smallest actions, or lack thereof, can have an impact on another person. This morning after run-in number 1 I asked Jack what he would have done differently and he, much to my pleasure, replied “I would have said thank you! She was very very rude mom’. It’s sad the enormous pride I felt in that moment – it’s the little things that make me happy.
So it is here that I have posted the signs for please and thank you! Jack and Lily loved singing ‘please’ and through sign my kids have been using their manners since about 12 months old. ‘Please’ was their favourite, most likely because they quickly saw that we all thought it was adorable and would usually give them whatever they were asking for. A byproduct of signing with baby that I have loved is that it provides a mechanism for sending silent messages across a room to your children (as well as your significant other!). There have been many times when I have looked at Jackson or Lily and subtly made the ‘thank you’ or ‘please’ sign as a reminder that they need to use their manners. There have been times as well when I have seen them doing something special or something that I’ve asked and have signed ‘thank you’ from a distance. They usually light up knowing their good behaviour has been acknowledged.
This morning was one of those mornings that had me completely preoccupied wondering what kind of world my kids are growing up in. Fortunately, as I flipped on the television for background noise I heard “Boom De Ya Da”. I stopped, watched and remembered, as The Discovery Channel commercial exclaims, that “The World Is Just Awesome”. I remembered to never judge because you never know what is happening in another person’s life. And I remembered to be thankful for my self control that I didn’t push the door closed on her foot or use my rather extensive foul vocabulary in front of my children.
Click on the following links and you can download the signs for Please and Thank You! You can print them out and put them up, much like our Little Helper stickers, as a reminder of the signs!