Signing with attitude

Two weeks ago at our last occupational therapy appointment, our therapist suggested that, since Parker wasn’t talking yet, maybe teaching him sign language wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
It’s crossed my mind before for both boys- always seemed like it would be a smart thing to do since 99% of the time babies are impossible to understand, but in typical me fashion- it slipped my mind.


I wasn’t sure how well Parker would take to it, considering his age, and I didn’t know a single sign myself (other than actual american sign language), so our OT taught him just a few. More, All Done, and Hungry.

Now every time he wants more of something, is insisting he’s all done (as he loves to do), or is hungry- I attempt to get him to sign it to me. And I was shocked at how quickly he picked up on all of them. Not so much signing them to me, but if I asked him “are you hungry?” he’d tap his hand to his mouth. Very shortly after learning them, he could sign any of the three to me if I asked him to first.

Actually having him walk up to me and sign “hungry” without my prompting? That’s been a little slower. At his age, if he’s bitching, I generally know what the problem is- so maybe I just don’t give him enough of a chance to sign to me first, but more than likely he knows he just doesn’t have to.

There are still times where i’ll ask him if he’s “all done” and he’ll give me the sign for more- so of course i’ll attempt to shove some more food in his mouth only for him to give me that “BITCH, PLEASE!” look- “More” is definitely not what he meant.

I really think the sign for ‘more’ is harder than ‘all done’, so i’m not sure why he favors that sign the most. With all done, all you do is put your hands in the air and shake them around. For ‘more’ (or Parker’s ‘more’ anyways) he puts one hand up, flat palmed, and then pokes it a couple of times with the index finger of his other hand.

Just when i’m starting to count him out, thinking he’s just throwing out any sign to shut me up- he makes sure I know that he’s just going to sign when he REALLY wants something, and not when I ask him to.

Example: we were at Target yesterday. It’s the first time we’ve been since they remodeled the store to a “super target”, so we were wandering around checking out if the prices were any better than Food Lion (nowhere is usually, not even Walmart.) We knew we’d be spending a little while there so we brought along Parker’s afternoon snack which included a sippy of water and a little tupperware of finger foods.
It would be putting it lightly to say that Parker is obsessed with water. I don’t know what the fascination is, but if he even SEES the sippy during a normal day (where he doesn’t usually get water), he starts spazzing out over it. If you deprive him of his precious water sippy once he’s already laid eyes on it- you’d better be prepared for the tantrum to end all tantrums.

And once you give it to him, you can’t take it away- not even if he’s done with it. Not even if he isn’t using it. That thing is HIS.

He had laid his usual claim over the sippy while pushing him around Target in the cart, and Thomas decided for some ungodly reason to take it away. Tsk. I wasn’t browsing about 20 feet away when I heard Parker let out a massive whine/scream combo. And then it stopped.
According to Thomas, at that point, Parker got very quiet, looked up at him with an incredibly angry face (furrowed brow and all), and slowly poked his pointer finger into the palm of his other hand. More.

The kid might not be great at sign language yet, but using it with attitude? That takes talent.

Posted on April 4, 2011 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment
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