Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bear, Fish and Duck

Annabelle has been using a lot of signs lately to communicate. The first time my husband and I saw her sign bear was rather fittingly at the zoo looking at a bear. One of her favorite stories is "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and we have been signing the animals as we read it. When we saw the brown bear at the zoo she looked right at it and signed BEAR and tried to say bear too! My husband was holding her so I didn't see or hear it the first time but he was so impressed and excited.
She has been using the sign for FISH often because she loves looking at the aquariums at the pet store. She also has signed FISH when we've looked at books and she has a toy fish she likes too. When we went to the grocery store the other day we were walking down the cracker aisle. All of a sudden she started to sign FISH. I said, "Do you see a fish!" I walked back down the aisle to find the fish she was looking at. Sure enough she pointed to the packages of goldfish crackers. Those were the fish she saw and wanted. I gave her the package and she carried them around the store until we checked them out. It was great knowing what she was trying to communicate. I'm sure not knowing what she was trying to say would have resulted in a big tantrum but she could express her wants to me and I was able to understand. Signing is great!
The other night when I put Annabelle to bed we were reading a book and she signed DUCK and made her quacking sound. I said, "Do you see a duck?" and she pointed to the picture in the book. I had never noticed a duck in the picture before but she sure did and let me know!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Signing Explosion

All of the books I've read have talked about the signing explosion that can happen around this age or stage of signing. Well, we have certainly seen an explosion of signing. Annabelle signs more, milk, drink all the time now. Her newest frequent sign is cracker. She loves animal crackers and she will sign this whenever she wants one which is often. I took her to the library the other day and she was walking around signing ball, which looks a lot like her sign for more, and I couldn't figure out what she needed more of. What she was signing was ball when we were playing with the toys. She also saw stuffed apples and she was signing ball.
I swear she was signing flower too the other day when she saw a flower on the cover of a magazine in the checkout aisle. She seems to sign it a lot too but it also looks like her sign for eat and she also looks like she's just touching her nose. So it is easy to miss.
Some people ask me if I am worried about her not talking and only signing instead. I am not. She has many words as well as her signs. She said mama and dada around 7 or 8 months (then both my husband and I were dada for awhile!). Besides that her first official word was "kitty" all though it sounds like "itty". She also says ball, bed and book but they all sound like "ba". She also says "cracker" because of her love for animal crackers! I have also heard her say what has sounded like "dog" before. We are constantly pointed things out to her that we know the sign for and signing and talking to her. Just because we sign with her doesn't mean we stop talking to her. If anything we are talking more to her.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Daddy and Bath

Last night Annabelle was trying out her signs. She spent the whole day with daddy as is the norm for her on Fridays and when I came home he left to go out. She doesn't usually cry when he leaves but she has been having a lot of separation anxiety the past few weeks. When he left she started crying and I took her to the window so she could wave bye-bye. She loves looking out the window and we stood there for awhile and she waved and watched him pull out.
A few hours later I said something about Daddy. She turned towards me and did her sign for BATH. I have seen her do this when she wants to take a bath or if Daddy is in the shower. I thought she would start going up stairs to the bathroom but instead she went back to the window and started saying "dada." I told her Daddy would be home later.
Later on she tried to do the sign for WINDOW again and started saying "dada." I had to take her back to the window and let her wave "bye bye" to Daddy some more even though he had left hours earlier.
I am trying to figure this out. Maybe she is associating the sign with BATH with daddy because he usually gets in the tub with her in his swim trunks or when he says Daddy he hits his chest like she was doing. Either way she was trying to communicate and did so with some success. I don't think she would have been able to do so without the use of sign language.

Friday, April 11, 2008


My husband and I began signing with Annabelle when she was eight months old. We began with the basics: mommy, daddy, kitty (we have two cats), milk, eat and more. Her first sign was "milk" which appeared soon after we began signing. For awhile that was all she would sign. And she would sign it for everything. When she wanted a drink she signed "milk". When she saw the kitty she signed "milk". When she wanted milk she signed "milk". We also watched her as she understood the signs we were showing her. I signed "drink" during dinner once and she looked right at her sippy cup so I knew then she understood.
Annabelle will be celebrating her first birthday next week and she not only signs "milk" when she wants to nurse but also signs "more", "drink" and "all done" on a regular basis. She also signs eat, bed, bath, shoe, socks, ball, banana, flower, hat and book less frequently but still with consistency. Just this week she has attempted the signs for window and cracker.
Signing with Annabelle has been fun and so helpful. She is becoming a toddler and already starting to throw tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants. With sign I know that she wants to nurse when she signs "milk" or that she wants her sippy cup when she signs "drink". And she gets so excited when we know what she is trying to communicate. It's fantastic! I can't imagine parenting without sign.