Tuesday, November 18

Signs of Trickery

For an entire week I have had a little comment from another mom at gymnastics classes under my skin. It's been sitting there fermenting, perplexing me, leaving me wondering. It wasn't anything mean, in fact, it was sort of a compliment. It was, in many ways, a compliment of the highest order, but it seemed like such a lie. SURELY, it couldn't be true.

The mom had told me, "It's so amazing how well Alexis listens."

I am certainly Alexis' biggest fan, but I'm not blind to the fact that she's two and certainly not the best-behaved two-year old who ever lived. I don't drug her nearly enough to achieve that level. As for listening skills? I'd probably give her a C+. Some days she's really good about doing what I ask, other days she acts like I am a moron from the plant Snurp.

Tonight as Alexis was wandering away from the group during gymnastics, I suddenly figured out how it was that we had so totally fooled that mom. I should have realized it sooner, but I guess it's just second nature. As Alexis started wandering and acting a fool, instead of yelling or going over to her, I signed, "Come play here, please."

And she did.

Because she always follows signed requests. I don't know why, but she doesn't think you can argue with sign language.

I wish I had realized this sooner; there is a whole world of fun I can have with a kid who knows 300+ signs and will take all of them as Fact.

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Just in case you haven't been around for eons, we started teaching Alexis sign language when she was about six months old. We used DVDs from Signing Time and watch the videos with her so that we can learn the signs as she learns them. I entirely credit them for her starting to talk really early, as the reason that her vocabulary is still pretty advanced for her age, and the reason she's already starting to read a tiny bit. Right now we're all about Baby Signing Time #4, which is good because now she'll know the signs for "clean." You better believe I plan to make good use of that.

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I'm also over here tonight with my thank you to PittGirl.

35 comments:

  1. I just can't do the signs, man. I just can't do it.

    My kid already talks too much and knows so many words I have long since lost count. I say we just stop that madness right about now.

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  2. WOW, I never would have thought to do that but it is a great language skill to have. That and Spanish.....

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  3. You say it....she takes it as fact. You say it....she takes it as fact.
    You say it....she takes it as fact.

    Nope. Can't wrap my brain around that at. all.

    What sorta Kool-Aid are you serving that kid in the Burgh, and where can I get some?

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  4. How funny - you can't argue with sign. As smart as she is, she'll figure it out next week though.

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  5. What's the sign for, "I want to adopt that Burgh Baby and her Mom?"

    Huh?

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  6. That is just so cool.

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  7. I'm all about baby sign. I've seen it help bridge the gap for kids in daycare that don't have English as their first language.

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  8. I love the signing!

    We never got to 300+ signs, but we also didn't know about signing times until you!

    They will make great gifts for my prego friends!

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  9. Rachel9:04 AM

    Wanted to leave a comment about your "Thank you" to PittGirl where it wouldn't be lost in the midst of all of Mr. Priester's nastiness. It was church, and thank you for not just thinking it, but "saying" it!

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  10. Love it! I need to learn that - I know "please". I should probably learn signs like "Stop", and "Get down", and "sit still".

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  11. what a boon to parent/baby communication. wish that had been a viable concept when my babies were babies.

    go, alexis. keep watching for the signs. :-)

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  12. Sign Language is a fantastic language to learn - it's definitely helpful when you're in noisy locations (like a music concert) and instead of shouting, you can just sign.

    Heck, I've even fooled Deafs into thinking I was Deaf myself because I must get a certain "look" on my face (that or it's because I'm not all confused).

    My baby is definitely going to learn sign (and my husband is going to re-learn it!)

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  13. I wish I had known about this when Little Miss was younger. At 9, she would learn how to sign an agrument with me. That is a great thing you are doing for your child!

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  14. I saw the pic before I read the whole thing and I was going to say "She's signing I love you!!!" Only, now I realize that you know that.

    I can even sign "stop picking your nose" and make the Flash do it. ;)

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  15. Hmmm, I never thought about teaching the signing. I was worried that it would slow Alyssa's language skills. I wonder if starting at almost 3 would work or be beneficial?

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  16. That. Is. Brilliant.

    Here's a shocker for you: I was never organized enough to teach sign to any of my kids and Evie won't be any different. But I DO think it's awfully cool.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the picture!

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  17. The Kid knew 'more' 'please' 'thankyou' before he could talk, and can now do his name in sign and most of the alphabet. There are a few others he can do too, thanks to Blues Clues. ;)

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  20. So sorry, my computer had a hiccup and posted the same thing 4 times!

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  21. I love you, too, Alexis. That was directed at me, right?

    I think you have a new weapon. Use it wisely my young grasshopper.

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  22. Holy crap! We need to learn to sign right now! I am heading over to Amazon to order those DVD's.

    Can't argue with signing.....genius!!!

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  23. We taught my niece and two nephews to sign at those ages also.... i love the look on peoples faces when they ask for milk and say thank you when you hand them the cup with out opening their or your mouths... priceless.

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  24. That is seriously wonderful! Seriously...
    Thanks for the tip on the DVD! I will be getting that for my friend's baby shower gift soon! :D

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  25. Signing has definitely saved my sanity many a time with G.

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  26. Wow, they certainly have some cool stuff for kids now! I wish I had some sign language skills, but I don't.

    Very sneaky how you fool the other mommies, though!

    Peace - D

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  27. We used sign with our kids. #1 loved it. #2 refused.

    You're much luckier to have one who won't argue with it.

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  28. Making this a mental note for 2nd child (if there is one)! Cool how it makes you and Alexis a super impressive duo at gymnastics!

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  29. I just loved it when my kids were little and their vocabularies were growing. And growing. And growing. And now I can't shut them up to save my life.

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  30. I guess I'll have to teach that girl that she can argue with sign language. I can even show her some pretty cool signs that would blow that other mom's mind! LOL

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  31. Dude. Maybe I just need to teach Will more signs...?!?

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  32. Whoa, how awesome is that??? I've taught Pufferfish a few signs already, but she's nothing like fluent! Mostly she is willing to learn any sign that has something to do with food, such as "More"... which she now signs also to mean more songs, more playing, more being thrown and bounced onto the couch, etc... and "Please"....which goes along with "more... and "eat", which she does her own way by sticking her finger in her mouth and going "Ah, ah, ah!" THis Signing TIme, I've heard a lot about it. Maybe I'll get it for Puff! (We also have to try to learn Korean, for Pufferfish's heritage, and SPanish, for Monkeyboy's heritage, so soon we will be so multilingual our heads will spin!)_

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  33. baby signing rocks and so do you. You're a great mom and the world needs more like you.

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  34. Hey thanks for the great Signing Time plug! Your daughter is a DOLL and I am not at all surprised to hear of her early reading skills. We are hearing that a lot lately~

    Thanks again and keep signing!

    Rachel Coleman
    www.signingtime.com/rachel

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  35. "...but she doesn't think you can argue with sign language."

    Bwahahah! That. Is. Awesome.

    We are all about Baby Signing Times, especially 3 and 4 these days!

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