Thursday, January 29, 2009

Signing Up

Last Sunday, after church,, I was in the nursery area with Dear Bebe, getting ready to go. Another Mother was gathering up her children and we were making conversation. Her mother was with her. Her youngest is about a year old. He's so cute I enjoy seeing him interact with his mommy. She fed him a few animal crackers. Then my eyes and ears took notice of something else. She said "more?" And he banged his little hands together. Before she would give him the cookie she made him do something else....give her a please. But because he can't fullly talk yet he swiped his little hand near his shoulder. This was good enough for her even though it wasn't the actual sign. So he received the cookie.

Well, being the concerned (new) mom that I am my mind started to race. Sign language? I have to learn sign language! OH NO. The only time I've ever come across sign language was in the fifth grade when I read Helen Keller and thought it might be neat to learn another language. I quickly forgot because I'm sure at that age something else seemed even more exciting and never thought about it again. Until now.

So I pipe up: Sign language? Do I have to know sign language now, too? Like this was going to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

She laughed and said it made it easier to communicate with her baby since he can't talk yet.

I then wondered how we ever communicated to our parents because I don't think my Mother (Or anyone else's mother) ever taught sign language back in the 60's. Ewww. That makes me sound old!

I turn to her mother and say... what did our Mother's do? She just shrugged her shoulders and said "oh no, we didn't do that." And from what I gathered, she didn't need to. It didn't seem to make or break anything.

What I've decided is that what I see are just a few small tools for communication used to help mom and baby and I shouldn't panic. I don't think I need to recite the entire pledge of allegiance with it. Although, I guess that wouldn't hurt.

Any thoughts?


JanaBanana said...

Its funny because ust the other morning I "thought" about sign classes for Autumn Faith since she seems to want to tell me so much and gets so darn frustrated because she cant yet. 8 month, no talking involved yet...
Are you going to take a class?

Mary said...

Hello Jillian, Wow... sounds like you are busy:) I left you a blog award if you have time come by and play, if not, I truly understand:) If we are honest,we have all felt like that with our child at the mall:)My friend learned a few words to sign for her grandchild. She said it helped. Have a nice weekend.

Neabear said...

I am hearing impaired, well nearly deaf without my hearing aids. But I grew up oral and did not learn sign language until I was in college. I wish I had learned at an younger age. Might have made communication easier when I was younger. I had many years of speech therapy to get to where I am now.

Jillian, Inc said...

My son was taught to sign at his daycare / dayschool starting at 6 or 7 months and by the time he was a year old he could sign almost 40 words. He only used about 10 regularly - "more", "please", "eat", "drink", etc. The school had a progress card for each family so we knew which signs he had learned and which were coming up and WHAT THEY MEANT because lord knows I couldn't keep up with it all. The theory is (I guess) is that babies who learn to sign learn to talk earlier and are more verbal all around. My son talked sentences right after 1 year and has not stopped talking since -ha! And he will slip in a sign every now and then. In fact, tonight while I was making dinner he was being very demanding without using his manners and I was lecturing him about that and a few minutes later he asked for something making sure to say "PLEASE" and he also did the sign without even consciously knowing he was doing it. Good luck with all these new fangled parenting things. I take most with a grain of salt... like you say, we all seemed to grow up OK. When my mom (82 years old) heard Adam was learning signing at school, she said "Signing? What for? How many deaf kids could there possibly be at that school?" ha!