It was even better being there.
Baby sign language? Interesting, never heard of it! So glad that it's working out for them though, and that is VERY cool. (How did she know the first letter of your name?)
The "g" sound, associated with the letter.
There are books and tapes. I am now wholeheartedly recommending it to new parents because I've been so impressed with Carolyn's communication skills.
I can only imagine how happy you must be, to be able to eat an apple again. I've got so many food allergies that I can definitely sympathize with the pain of not being able to eat something you love - once upon a time, kiwi were my favorite fruit, but now if I even touch a piece to my tongue, I go into the beginnings of anaphylactic shock.
How thrilling for you!
Isn't it just frustrating as hell? I feel like some nutcase hypochondriac, saying to people that I can't eat healthy foods that I love - peaches and nectarines, for example, I can risk only by peeling them and eating one small slice at a time after taking benadryl. It's heartbreaking. The last shocking surprise was eating a hazelnut and feeling that "closing of the throat, gaspy breath" feeling of incipient anaphylactic shock - a triple dose of benadryl abated it, but I felt like, crap! I've never had nut allergies!! so far hazelnut flavorings and such don't bother me, but I have not faced down another actual nut.
In the face of the reaction, I want to scold myself - this isn't happening, you big baby, you're just imagining it. I don't want to be allergic to the world. It breaks my heart.
Wow. That's amazing, about Carolyn. Is it ok if I link to this post? Some of my friends have new babies...
Absolutely! It really is quite remarkable. You have to start young, and be willing to talk and sign, talk and sign, for months without a reaction, but when it comes it's astounding.
Now, if only I could get the cats to learn sign language. I can see on their little faces when they are trying to tell me something and then get frustrated because they think I am too stupid to understand. :)
If you could, you would be able to make your fortune selling the book.
Without going too far back into your journal, I'm assuming that Carolyn is deaf. I have a deaf/legally blind friend that I met at work. We became really good friends and he taught me how to sign. Sometimes, when we were out shopping or something, we would run into a few others who knew some sign language (or at least finger-spelling). It was fun to watch him sign with other people, even if I didn't know what they were saying...they always signed faster than I could read. And Tim, he was a very patient teacher as well as friend when it came to signing/spelling. Then there times when I ran into other people myself without Tim who were deaf, and it was such a neat feeling to be able to communicate with them. Tim gave me my own sign too: the letter K on his head/hair. Since he was deaf from birth, he never learned to speak, but while we spent time together, I taught him how to say my name, to say "I love you" in French (Je t'aime!), and I taught him about music. His blindess wasn't complete...Usher's Syndrome (called "tunnelvision") was due in part to his deafness. He's the only one in his family to be deaf/blind. But he could still see, so when we went places, I always took the time to show him "the little things"; the things people forgot he couldn't see very well. It was a very learning experience for both of us.
Thanks for sharing that. I enjoyed that story and the memories it brought back for me.
I don't believe Carolyn is deaf.
Thank you for a lovely post and sharing such nice experiences. Sometimes I really need a break from the mountains of angst.
We used to do some signing in the infant room where I worked- We just combined them, as you say, with the regular words, i.e. "Are you finished?" "Do you want more?" and most of the kids (ages 6 mo. to 13 mo,)would respond with sign.
It's astounding isn't it? When she was barely walking she could ask to you to please open the door because she wanted to go outside and play on her slide.
Also, he's the one that I wrote about in theferrett
's journal about the comic book collection....
Wow... on the entire post.
I'd heard of teaching babies signs as communication and am teary eyed to hear that it's worked so well with Carolyn.
And the apple thing... teary eyed, too, because it's like another nail in the coffin of big-buck businesses that think they can pull yet another wool cap over our heads when they tell us that even though the sprays kill insects, it can have NO effect on us, providing we wash it off first, forgetting that it gets INTO the food.
GOOD for you to able to eat an apple, a simple thing really, without having to reach for yet another big-buck-company pill to fool your body into accepting it.
Funny how a simple sense memory can touch so many hearts.
As a CODA (Child(ren) of Deaf Adult(s)), my first word was a sign, not a vocal word. My mother told me that babies pick up signs faster than words and that it seems somewhat silly how so many people view sign language as something terrible, vulgar even, when it could be viewed as poetry in motion. I love sign language--it's perfect to use if one needs to talk across a noisy room, for example.
Cheers for your friends teaching their child sign language so they can communicate. :)
One of our most amusing evenings was spent at a small fondue restaurant where the only other party in the room was a group of 12 or so deaf people. It was a very quiet evening, save for the occasional pounding on the table to get attention, but the best part was watching them interrupt each other by literally leaning in and signing in front of the other person.
What a wonderful post. :)
I'm currently taking sign language (and loving it) with a deaf teacher. I remember a lesson earlier in the year where he was telling (signing to) us how much easier it is to teach babies sign than it is to wait for them to learn to speak. The frustration of babies when they can't communicate is enormous, so you can avoid so much by teaching them a language where they *can* communicate.
I'm not married, nor do I have children, but if (when?) I have children, I am a strong proponent of teaching them sign.
Yay for apples! It does sound like you might be allergic to the crap that goes in standard apples.
And baby signs sound very cool.
2005-10-24 06:22 am (UTC)
Prompted by your post, I put up one of my own. Just in case anyone is interested in hearing more:
How much will switching to ASL change the signs that you'll be using? We will have to work on keeping up!
I get that whole "special to a kid" thing. I think that the joy in it, especially from little kids, comes from the fact that kids don't fake it. If they love you...if they crack a huge smile when they see you or they just plain love
you...it's because that's what they are truly feeling. There is no social pressure to pretend you like someone when you're a little kid.
I got a "feel better soon" card from kid_lit_fan
's eight year old the other day...after a couple of REALLY crummy days. I'd called Beth to have her keep me company while I was flat on my back waiting for meds to kick in. But, in the card, there was this little eight-year-old-scrawl note inside...and I STILL tear up every time I walk past it on my mantle. :)
Oh, those are both such marvelous things! Yay!:)