Baby Leah is now 9 months old. She isn’t signing many words, but I do get big smiles of recognition for several words when I sign them to her. Some of her favorites are ‘eat’, ‘more’ (these two she can sign) ‘bath’, ‘water’, ‘duck’, ‘cereal’, ‘banana’, ‘Mom’, and ‘finished’.
Recently while she was in the tub I signed, “ ’Where’ is the ‘duck’?” and after a little coaxing she grabbed her ‘duck’. I tried the same thing with a squirt bottle of ‘water’ and asked, “ ’Where’ is the ‘water’?” and she grabbed the ‘water’ with a little help. We practiced this for a few days and she can now grab her ‘duck’ and ‘water’ with no help. It is so fun to watch her do this without having to say a word and see the proud look on her face.
There is one word that I know she knows, but I don’t usually get a smile when she sees it – ‘no’. She likes to pull stuff off of one of my bookshelves and play in some of my plants. When I first started signing ‘no’ to her when she would go to these things and she figured out what it meant her little bottom lip would come out and she would cry. Now she goes to these things, waits for me to sign ‘no’, and then goes on her way. I think this is my favorite sign so far!
Now that Leah is mobile it is very hard to put the book in front of her to read it without her trying to go after it and trying to eat it. We discovered that the best way to read the book is for me to hold her and have one of her older brothers sit next to the book and sign the words as I read. It has turned into a fun family activity for all of us.
Now that we know the signs that are in the book I notice that all of us (especially her oldest brother) are using them throughout the day when we find we are doing something or see something that we know the sign for. I now understand the point of the book isn’t just to read the story to the baby, it is for the rest us to learn the signs so we are able to use them in this way. We can’t wait for book #2!