August 26, 2010

Guest Blogger: I Confess – I Quit Baby Sign Language

Posted by Becka
It was my daughter’s fault. You see, she popped out of the womb wanting to communicate.

She spoiled me.

She started signing for milk when she was six months old, and she picked up every sign just as quickly as I could teach them to her. She was a Baby Sign Language machine.

And I loved it. Oh, didn’t I love it. I bragged about it. I showed off in public. Especially in front of my in-laws. I was the best mother around. My daughter was my proof.

Then I met my son.

He came into this world quietly and stayed that way. He was calm and undemanding. I know, can you believe I am complaining about it?

I began introducing signs to him when he was about five months old.

When he was ten months old, he still wasn’t signing back.

I tried everything. I signed to him constantly, everywhere. I played the games -- I did the drills. I begged him to sign back but he would just smile at me and look cute.

So I quit. I was embarrassed. I had failed. I didn’t want to keep signing to no avail in front of my mother-in-law. I gave up. I basically told my son that if he didn’t want to communicate, then that was fine with me.

Then one day several months later, I forgot that I had quit, and in the heat of the moment, with my son screaming, I asked him if he wanted something to eat, and I made the sign for eat. And he jammed his entire fist into his mouth and looked at me like I was an imbecile. So I turned to get him something to eat, and I asked him to sign for please, and I reminded him how to do it. And he smiled and signed for please. I couldn’t believe it. I had not taught this child anything for almost three months, and then all of a sudden, he became a bit of a jabberbox.

Today, my son is eighteen months old, and he too, is a signing machine. (No thanks to his quitter of a mother.) He loves to sign and is good at it, and I continue to introduce new signs, now that I’m back on the wagon.

What’s the moral of the story? Well, I can think of a few of them. First of all, if I can be a signing mom, anyone can. So if you have given up or gotten frustrated, it’s never too late to start signing again. And if you feel like giving up, go ahead and take a break!

And secondly, some babies are just on their own schedule. For whatever reason, my son just didn’t feel like signing when I wanted him to. When he was ready, he signed.

I didn’t need to panic. I didn’t need to quit. But in the end, it is okay that I took a couple of months off. And he never needs to know. (Please don’t tell on me.)

This guest post is brought to you by the Baby Sign Language site. Visit us for more tips on on how to get started with baby sign language.

Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby. Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

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