Eric decided that we were being remiss in Olivia's development, so he asked me to purchase a book and DVD on Baby Signing. The book has pictures of how to sign words that are essential in your baby's daily communication, like "milk", and "more". All this of course prevents your child from rendering tantrums in the checkout aisle of Publix for that pack of Gatorade Gum because they are no longer frustrated from not being able to get their needs across to you. As I have a similar problem as a wife, I am waiting for the Marital Aide on Signing to come out soon.
Olivia's favorite object right now is light. So we immediately turned to the extensive glossary to find the word and open up the secret of that universe to her. There was no hand-signing translation for light. I poured through the entire glossary searching (lamp? light? bright?) and ascertained that while I have the tools before me to teach her to say, "Look Mother and Father, the saxophonist is on fire, can I have some more milk?" there was no reprieve for the fact that she is willing to say "wha's zat?" as she points to the overhead one thousand times in a row.
The book outlined for us the way to teach her this new language, and that the future advantages of her communication were extensive. Children that learn to sign at a young age, the book claims, are showing a better overall ability to communicate when older, are higher performing at school, and are exhibiting an ability to hang around the hearing-disabled children at a party and be invited to share their cocaine quicker than the kids who are unable to sign.
Believe me, Olivia seems quite skilled daily in getting her point across without the signing. Much like the time I had Botox on my forehead and one of the mothers--who was a psychotherapist--
pointed out she was concerned about a society that would be unable to get across their emotions and I implored her to trust me, Jake still is conclusively aware when I am angry, I ask that you trust me that I do not unwittingly change her diaper when she is merely screaming for her dinner. But I applaud Eric's commitment to his daughter's contentment. I just wish he were as committed to teaching Jake to sign and perhaps I would get a little peace and quiet around here.
Olivia refuses to say the word Mommy. We have tried everything, and she will oblige with all other sounds. "Rooooaaaar," she says when prompted what does the tiger say. "Shoe", "table", "shit", "woof", "daddy". No problem, Eric convinced me, as he demonstrated the sign gesture for mommy repeatedly.
The fifty dollar investment has already paid off. Imagine my pleasure when she finally presented her own interpretation.