Monday, December 01, 2008

What's the sign for "bittersweet?"

Ages ago, before boy was even a thought, husband and I watched some friends teaching their baby sign language. We were amazed, impressed. "We're doing that someday," we said to each other. "All it takes is consistency, right?"

Ahem. Here we are with a ten-month-old who still has no predictability to his sleep, and I thought consistency was EASY?! Ridiculous of me. Still, we've at least been doing the sign for "more" with boy consistently. Apparently.

Because he signs it now. 

At some level, it's not a big deal. It's like smiling back at someone, right? It's like waving bye, or clapping your hands when someone else does. Babies mimic the actions they see. So why do I get tears in my eyes when he does it?

I think it's because now, he knows what it means, not just how to do it. He signs, "more" when we're eating and he wants another bite. He signs "more" when I say, "Baby, do you want more?" He GETS it. Without even talking, he can ask for something he wants. And it's incredible. 

He's done it six or seven times over the last two or three days, and every time he does it, I want to call the news stations. "You've GOT to see this," I want to tell them. "My son TAPS HIS FINGERS TOGETHER. It's the greatest thing EVER." And I know how dumb that sounds, and I know that kids all over the world do this kind of thing, and that he's not the only one or the first one or even the best at it, probably.

But it's one more big step in boy communicating with ease. It's one more huge jump in his rapid development, one more way I watch him learn something and have to praise him around the lump lodged firmly in my throat. 

It's one more way my baby's growing up. And it's beautiful and perfect. And it's breaking my heart.


dan said...

ok, I have to do this with my kids now (when I have them).

WeeHands said...

Your little one is beautiful and perfect - I love your post!

It's great that you are signing with your little one - it's an amazing thing to do...enjoy!

Sara Bingham, WeeHands Founder
Author of The Baby Signing Book

dlynnengo said...

It must just totally humble you. What a lucky little boy. With an amazing Momma. Love you both!

Bonita said...

These are the stories that make me smile and remember the joy I felt watching each of my children sign with me. It still warms my heart to hear about other families sharing this great joy!

Bonita Broughton
ECE Program Specialist
Baby Signs Institute