Early on in this adventure the wife and I decided that it might be a good idea to try to teach the trips some baby sign language. I think we started around 6 months, repeatedly signing sleep, eat, more, all done, drink, milk, mommy, daddy, etc. All of the things that a baby would need. In the beginning, it was hard to keep up because there was little or no feedback from the trips, they just sat there and looked at us like we were crazy! It probably wasn’t until 9 months that we saw some progress. We started to see “more” from the boy at meal time. This should not have been a big shock to us, since he eats like a 3 year old! Then we started to see “all done” and “sleep.” These were big steps for us. We had communication! And the best part was we were getting the right signs at the right times. This was amazing!
Now it’s getting even better. Today at lunch, the wife asked G2 if she wanted more or if she was all done. Not only did we get the sign for more, we got the word as well! Amazing! She actually put it together. Of course, we have been repeating the word every time we made the sign – that number must be in the thousands by now! All of that repetition does pay off in the end.
I was a little worried in the beginning that the signing might delay actual language a little. The wife reassured me that she had read that most of the time it actually helps to improve language skills. I trust her when she says she read something because when she puts her mind to it, she is great at research. So, I trusted her and so far she’s been right. I have seen little delay in actual language skills. Each of the trips has a handful of words that they know and repeat. Interestingly enough, they each have their own unique set. Of course they all can say mama and dada and some variations of each (mommy, ma, daddy, etc.), and the boy can say block, G1 has said dance (and boy does she love to), G2 has said book and now says more. There are others, some clearer than the rest. I’m sure there are also some that I just don’t understand yet. Oh, and they’re beginning to say each others’ names! That’s just darn cute!