Communication Gap

MP was a signing baby, with a vocabulary of close to 100 words before she could talk. By far, I’d say that teaching her to sign was one of the best parenting decisions I’ve made. (If I do say so myself. Pat, pat.) Because she was able to effectively communicate, there was very little frustration … on both our parts. It made things SO easy.

Although she doesn’t actually remember signing, every once in awhile, I’ll catch a little glimpse of the past. Like when she subconsciously makes the “milk” sign when she’s sleepy and needs comforting. *sigh* It’s these sweet little remnants that tug at my heartstrings.

Now, she’s learning sign language all over again at preschool. (Excuse me. preKINDERGARTEN.) She shows me the sign for “shorts.” She shows me the sign for “awake” which is too cute for words. I’m terribly impressed. I can’t just let it go, so I grab hold of this teaching moment.

Me: “Do you know why we use sign language?”

(blank stare)

Me: “Some kids can’t hear, so we use sign language to talk with each other. If we don’t use sign language, they can’t understand what we’re saying.”

MP: “Well, sometimes I don’t understand what you’re saying …”

Good one.

On that note, I thought I’d post the American Sign Language alphabet. ‘Cause I think it’s really cool. And a little education each day is a good thing, don’t you think?

I can’t remember if we learned it in school or girl scouts or what, but once upon a time, I knew this by heart. Instead of passing notes in class, my middle school friends and I would surreptitiously spell out and send secret messages across the room. At the time, it was pretty cool.

I found some other signs in my Google search. Like this.

Oh HELL no.

I don’t care what those crazy Germans say, you won’t catch ME sitting on a public toilet seat. Especially with that whole pee fountain thing goin’ on.

This got me thinking about travel. I remembered the summer of ’87, a road trip to Minnesota, and this.

I had a thing for signs back then too. And shrunken sweatpants.

Fashion. Ista.

I think we’re all in agreement.

Clearly, I was a dork.

And now, in the spirit of open and honest communication, and to try and wrap up this somewhat disjointed little stream of consciousness, I ask you to consider the following …

You say sixty-nine.

I say sniffin’ butts.




Filed under Bits and Pieces

16 responses to “Communication Gap

  1. Way to go, Mom! I will give you a pat on your back for that, too!

    I taught my triplets boys sign language from one year on. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner. Is M’s school using Signing Time! ( to teach sign language? That’s the series we have loved since the first time my boys saw it. I have often been caught with it on in my van, even when there are no kids present.

    Good for you for exposing M to another beautiful language!

  2. Thanks Cathy! It IS Signing Time — she absolutely loves it. Thanks for the web address — I’ll have to check it out!

  3. Laughing so damn hard on your 69 comment that I can’t even comment.

  4. Well, all my serious and heartfelt support for the greatness of teaching toddlers to sign went out the window as soon as “sign” took on another meaning in your post… now all I can do is *snort* — is there a sign for that?

  5. What is there not to like about sniffing butts? Dogs do it all the time! And then they lick themselves and then they’re happy. It’s all about the simple things.

    For dogs, that is.

  6. That’s so cool – maybe I should do that over here – we’re in that stage where she’s talking, but have no idea if she’s really “talking” ya know?

    I’m gonna totally check into it.

  7. atandrade1

    I think it’s awesome your Pre-K’er is learning a different language! I love what she said, “well I don’t understand what you’re saying !” classic.

  8. Started sign language with my first at about 9-10 months old. She learned “milk,” “nurse,” and a couple of others. But it ended there because A) she started talking at 9 months and couldn’t be bothered, and B) she had a focus problem and I couldn’t get her to look at me. Bye-bye, sign language, sigh.

    And as for your discussion query . . . tomato, tomahto, you know the rest . . .

  9. Good for you for the signing. If only you knew how many so-called professionals are against, as they think it will LIMIT YOUR CHILD’S SPOKEN VOCAB! As if! And, there are many so-called professionals who think it is “too hard” for kids like mine. NOT! It gives them a means to communicate! It helps them develop language processing! So good for you for teaching her, and for her school!

  10. Those so-called professionals make me so mad. They’re crazy. Because she was a signing baby, when she began to speak it was in full sentences, not one word at a time. And her vocabulary’s always been way ahead of kids her age. Seriously, I couldn’t recommend it MORE!

  11. I am so with you on the sniffing butts thing…as for the sign language – wish I had taught him to sign. Good for you!!! Definitely deserve those pats.

  12. You say sixty-nine.

    I say sniffin’ butts.



  13. OMG! I’m still laughing at this.

  14. i am a huge believer in sign language. we used the signing time videos and in no time, our son was teaching us signs. he didn’t start talking until 3, so it was a life saver.

  15. Deb

    TOTALLY sniffing butts.

  16. I wanted to try that with Sophia, but couldn’t find any info on it. I’ll have to look at that link. She’s 21 months, so hopefully it’s not too late to start. My oldest learned it in college for kids and had a blast.
    I learned the ASL alphabet in the girl scout – communication with my friends changed from hence forth! Total confusion on my part – I suck at spelling and have a short attention span. A bad combo when trying to read spelled out words.
    As for your other signs…. HA! I love the German signs. “Nicht Spritzen”! Your photos are HYlarious!!!! 🙂

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