What’s the sign for WAIT, COME BACK?

Before I was a mom I thought the idea of signing with your kids was sort of silly. I mean, shouldn’t a one year old be focusing on learning WORDS instead of waving his hands around to tell you he needs his diaper changed? But now I have a kid, and my kid has NEEDS. Needs and WANTS. He wants things like the one specific block that’s over there. No, there. NO. THERE. NOOOOOOO NOT THAT ONE THE ONE WITH THE DOG HAIR NO NO NOOOO WAAAAAAAAAAH. And then there’s the frantic shirt pulling and grabbing when he wants to nurse. I’d really rather he learn the sign for “milk” than continue to do what can only be described as motorboating my boobs when he’s hungry (Dear Mom, please don’t ask what that means).

So on Thursday, Baby Evan and I started our Sign, Say & Play class with Miss Amy at Papoose. It’s a small class and I have to admit part of why I signed up was I already know the three other moms participating. I think they’re super awesome and my goal is to end up as more than just class friends. It’s definitely easier to stalk them at an organized group than by “accidentally” bumping into them in their driveway. AHA JUST KIDDING. Getting caught in someone’s driveway is a rookie stalker move. And now they think I’m nuts. Great job, weirdo.

Baby Evan is actually a little young to mimic any of the signs yet but I’m hoping that an early start will get us on the right track. He is…a hard child to keep focused. It doesn’t help that he spends most of the hour crawling towards the far corners of the room as fast as possible and refuses to sit anywhere near the group circle. He is a really, really, REALLY active child – his favorite game is “Attack of Babyzilla” where I lie on the floor and make “oh no you’re so strong!” noises while he climbs all over me – and shows no interest in slowing down for cuddles, let alone long enough to learn hand motions. Luckily, E is on board with the signing so Baby Evan is getting reinforcement from both parents any time he wants “more” or “milk” or is “all done” (Can you tell our first week was food/feeding signs?) We have five more weeks of class as well as a book and a DVD my friend Amanda gave me to work through, so my goal is to know all the signs we might use on a daily basis (hungry, bed, wet, dog, cat, more, milk, please, thank you, mama, dada, etc.) (no, not the SIGN for et cetera, just more every day signs I can’t think of right now) (I wonder if there even is a sign for et cetera) before Baby Evan is a year old. Then I have to remember to USE THEM.

Do you sign with your baby? How old were they when they “got it?”

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10 Responses to “What’s the sign for WAIT, COME BACK?”

  1. Meg says:

    Obvs., I don’t have a baby, but I remember a guy in my credential program (nine years ago, yikes!) who had done signing with his son and he loved it. I don’t recall how old the boy was when he “got” it, but I remember the guy in my class saying it was awesome being able to sign with baby. I think you’ll be glad you did it!

  2. Natalie says:

    I signed with both the girls. Olivia signed much more than Sophia partly (in my opinion) because I started earlier with her and didn’t have the distraction of another kiddo. She didn’t start signing back until about 9 months (I think) but it was SO helpful. The big ones were “Thank you”,”All Finished”, “More” “Milk” “Eat” and “Sleep” (although they did learn others). I have the baby signs Baby Einstein DVD that helped reinforce it and really helped me to learn also (I wasn’t able to take a class :o( ) To this day they both will sometimes automatically sign when they say thank you, are finished with dinner or if they want more. I also think this helped them speak earlier, because they would sign and speak at the same time–so contrary to what a lot of my friends and family thought, it did not, in any way, stunt their vocabulary. Both were speaking in 3-4 word sentences by 14 or 15 months old.

    Good luck!

  3. Audrey says:

    It occurred to me ever so briefly to sign with Ev. But then we moved and I had to find a new OB a month before I was due which turned into 3 weeks before I actually gave birth (had a C-section..do you really “give birth” if your child is removed surgically?) and then we bought a house..so I was pretty busy and stressed. I thought the reason to do it was to make your kid smarter, because I’ve got to tell you..after spending every single day with my child I know exactly what he wants without communicating via hand signals – much to the amazement and sometimes disbelief of my in-laws (when I tell you he wants fed, he wants fed not walked around and recited poetry). At the point that I realized I already understood my son’s wants I decided it was unnecessary for us. I would love to know if there is an actual connection to signing and speedy verbal communication skills, though. I’d give it a go for baby#2.

  4. Linda Easton says:

    We love hearing about your signing adventures with Evan!!

    This year at Baby Signs, we’re launching a weekly online video series to teach signs. You can see our first one here.

    We are taking requests from moms like you for signs to feature in the series. I’ve had requests for signs like “avocado” and (hehe) “vacation!”

    I looked up “wait, come back!” in the ASL dictionary, but could find it! If you have any suggestions along the way, email them to me (lindae@babysigns.com).

    Happy signing!
    Linda Easton
    Baby Signs, Inc.

  5. Brigid Keely says:

    Audrey, I had a C-Section, and I refer to my child as being “ripped from” or “erupting from” my womb, and being “not born of woman.” It’s pretty awesome.

    We had intentions of signing and even have books on signing that we studied. However, we’re focusing more on exposing him to both English and Srpski, which means that after 10 years and 3 semesters of foreign language class, I’m finally learning Srpski. To an extent. LOL.

  6. bebehblog says:

    Audrey, if you want to call it giving birth it is TOTALLY giving birth…but Brigid’s way is pretty awesome. I think signing, for us anyways, is more about getting Baby Evan to express what he wants in a more appropriate way (then, say, the boob grabbing). He’s pretty easy to understand (rubbing his face means he’s tired, WHODATHUNKIT?) but I’d love to know he’s thinking in actual language.

    Brigid – If all my “educational” baby toys have their way, Baby Evan is going to learn Spanish AND French before his 2nd birthday. Unfortunately I don’t speak either well enough to help him or reinforce his lessons more than 1-10 or “how much are the green beans?” I’d love to find a mother-child language class eventually…if such a thing exists.

  7. halfg1rl says:

    there is a program for other languages.. look at littlepim.com it’s a serious kind of like baby einstein but its geared towards languages. think you might be interested.

  8. Lee Anne says:

    We signed with our daughter starting around 9 months. By the time she was 13 months she had more signs (and words) than I could count. If you’re not opposed to TV, you could check out the Signing Times DVDs at your local library. Even if E doesn’t watch them, you can, to help you remember them better.

  9. Lee Anne says:

    PS – the signs for “sorry,” “wait,” and “help” came in handy for me when I locked my baby in the car at Trader Joe’s one day. It SUCKED, but it made me feel better that I could at least communicate with her a bit while we were waiting for the firemen to come rescue us.

  10. Erin says:

    We have already been signing with Reid even though he is only six months, mostly so that I can learn them. I don’t really want to try to have to learn ALL the signs or anything, mostly just the things he would most likely want to try to communicate. The plan was to have my mom teach me the signs since she teaches sign language to pre-schoolers but that got on my nerves really quick!!! (that and the fact that she keep yelling that he was signing mommy everytime he puts his thumb in his mouth. “He’s saying mommy!!! He loves signing!!! He wants you to sign with him right now!!!”) So now I just learn them on my own and do it when she it not home :) You can look up any sign on the internet really easily. And you can also just simplify them if the ASL sign is too complicated or if there isn’t an ASL sign (like i just made up something for Juice, since doing cup and a J was too much to do). As long as you do the same thing every time it could be whatever. But the classes sound like a lot more fun! :)

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