Using Baby Sign Language

2013-12-11 12.00.59My youngest son Dodge is just shy of 11 months old, has 4 teeth, and is nicknamed “The Octopus” because he grabs everything.  You can’t leave anything within his grasp!  His favorite things to do are petting the cat, playing cars with his big brother Max, and of course…eating.  The kid is a bottomless pit for food.  Every sitter is AMAZED by how much food he eats…and he’s tiny!  With Max (who turns 3 on Sunday) we found that teaching him baby sign language really helped when he was a baby. so we started teaching Dodge the basics too.  Dodge is already very good at pointing, waving, and even has a few words such as:

  • Hi
  • Bye-bye
  • Night-Night
  • Uh-oh
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • Cat
  • Max
  • Papa

20131020_123327The rest are still pretty mubblerific but there’s words in them thar kid!  Anywho, Kate has been working on the basic signs with Dodge to help bridge him from baby to toddler and he’s done quite well.  We aren’t doing the full list of baby sign language, I find less is more in situations like this, because we want him to be able to communicate basic needs while still needing to learn how to use his words.  So…go figure…the kid who is a bottomless pit for food pretty much signals “more” 24/7.  This morning at breakfast he shot me a pirate smile, whispered “Dada,” then signaled more.  “More what?” I asked?  I tried a few other signs with him as I said the words, “More to eat? More milk?”  The cat meowed which made him smile, “More cat?” I asked in earnest.  He did not find this funny.  His face changed from jovial to dead serious, he looked me in the eye…maybe he looked through me and into my soul, and bounced his little hands together signalling “more” and then pointed to his plate vigorously.  Dodge wanted more eggs.  I had just finished eating the last of the eggs.  There is no baby sign language for “F you Dada” but I read it loud and clear in his eyes.

20131222_140833After some Cheerios and kisses I was out of the doghouse and Dodge rubbed his eyes which is the international baby sign language for “I’m ready for my nap whether I like it or not.”  I kissed him goodbye before I left for work and he waved while saying, “Bye-bye…night-night.”  Pirate smile.  Heart melt.  Now if he could just use sign language to tell me what he wants for his birthday.  I’d bet its “More food” which I think sounds like an awesome (and easy) birthday, but Kate pointed out I set the bar high with Max and need to do something special for Dodge.  Max’s first birthday I put a petting zoo in the back yard.  Max’s second birthday I took him into the Wichita State locker room to party with the players for a basketball theme’d party.  Sunday its going to be airplanes.  I’ve got another month to figure out Dodge and what to do for his first birthday ever.  Cars?  A day without Max trampling him?  Boobs?  <sigh>  “More food…more food…more food.”  Yes Dodge…more food.  Any ideas are welcomed and I encourage you to comment on this post.

“All done!”  I’m waving my hands in the air.  Help.

baby-sign-language-chart

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