Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hannah Learns Some More Signs

I know I've been quite the blogging slacker as of late and that has to do both with our general lack of any activity outside of our usual super fun routine and also with my recent organizing obsession.  I bought my neighbor's treadmill on Sunday and have been busy making room for it in our basement.  I posted my old dining room table turned craft table to Craig's List and then delved into my boxes of undergrad and graduate school work that were stashed under the desk.  There were three boxes of that stuff plus a portable filing cabinet thingy filled with old freelance stuff.  I consolidated and pitched all the freelance stuff, all my notes, all my papers (all stuff that I have saved to my hard drive anyway) and filed my old course outlines and teacher handouts in the portable filing cabinet thingy. I'd have pitched those too but I figure those notes will come in handy in the event I ever apply for and land a position teaching any one of those courses.  Once all that was pitched, I stashed all my wayward craft stuff under the desk after months of it being strewn about in various corners of various rooms.  I finished the bulk of this project tonight, the part that affects our living spaces anyway, and am at a good stopping point, so I thought I'd some of Hannah's recent milestones in communication.

Yesterday at the pool Hannah found some toys in the skimmer and busied herself playing with them until one of them one floated back into the skimmer. She panicked and started reaching for it while loudly and obnoxiously saying, "EHHHH!! EHHH!!!" which in Hannah speak means "GIVE ME THAT" or, in this case, get me that. As usual I looked at her and calmly said, "What is it? Do you need help?" while doing the sign for help. (For those of you not proficient in ASL, here's a photo of the sign for help that I found on this website.)

Sign language for help.
Hannah nodded her hand and attempted the sign.  She put the palms of her hands together with her thumbs up and moved her hands up together.  Amazing!!! My child is a genius!! Wahooooo!!!! I made a big deal out of her first attempt at signing help and applauded her  profusely before fishing the toy out of the skimmer.  Her little brain cogs started really rolling then.  She pushed the toy back into the skimmer, looked at me with a big grin on her face, and signed "help."  How awesome is that?!!!  So I applauded again and started really playing it up by saying stuff like, "Of course I'll help you get your toy out of the skimmer! Here you go, mommy helped." At that I threw in the sign for mommy.  Then I said, "Can you say 'thank you, mommy'?" and threw in the signs for thank you and mommy.  We repeated that scenario over and over again, making a game out of her ability to sign for help, and then during the bit where I thank myself for her, she put the palm of her hand up to her chin very deliberately and smiled big again!!! What's more genius-y than a genius??? That's my banana!!  (If you don't know it, here's the sign for thank you which I stole from this website):
Sign language for thank you.
Then later in the day, she picked up the sign for drink. In addition to this being her third learned sign in one day, this is one we've been working on for a looooonnnnng time.  She modifies this one by putting her index finger to her lips and tilting her head back. (A pic if you're interested, this one from the website):
Sign language for drink.
Hannah is not mastering control of her spoken words at all, which is fine, no rush, but I have to admit that I am LOVING the fact that she's picking up on sign language!  It is so flippin' awesome to be communicating with her, to know what she wants rather than have to hear her very loud, very insistent EHHH-ing which stresses me out while I try to guess the object of the EHHHH. But the awesomeness of this is not just how it benefits me, it's more how it benefits her.  I think for her, and for all babies I guess, communication is like this secret puzzle or code to crack, and watching her eyes light up every time she cracks the code is beyond amazing.

Now that she's catching on, I guess I need to increase my own signing vocabulary. I'm guessing that now that she's made the connection, it won't take her long to blaze through the handful of signs that I know and then resort back to driving me nuts with her constant EHHHHH-ing! 


  1. And it will be awesome, awesome, when she starts saying words with the signs. It won't be long. I saw her do two signs when she was watching the video with me. Rocking the baby, and the more one. Then when eating her snacks in the car, she did the one for more. I may have told you that already. She is precious. keep up the good work, so glad you get to be home with her to witness her milestones.

  2. Oh yah! I forgot that she does the baby one!! I think I blogged about more the first time she did it; that was actually her very first sign (outside of nodding and shaking her head).

    I'm glad I'm home too!!!


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