Baby Sign (in which our kids show off their funny faces)

The other day, Benjamin toddled into the living room, tugged on mommy’s pants and demanded a bath. Not only was it the right time of night (we usually give him his bath just before bed) but it was the right night — bath night is every other, and he knows it.

No, he can’t talk yet, but Benjamin knows a little bit of another way of communicating: sign language.

We’d always wanted to sign with our kids, even though neither of us know any ASL at all, but when Ben got his string of ear infections, leading to the surgery, we figured we’d better work on it in earnest, in case his ear problems delayed his language acquisition. The results are adorable.

For a long time he’s known the sign for cookie. He gets one after his afternoon nap, so he wakes up signing it. But the comprehension wasn’t really there — he’d sign cookie for anything he wanted in his mouth. To be fair, there are 3 signs we’ve tried to teach him around the topic of eating: food, more and cookie so that must be confusing — and its obvious which would become his favorite.

The sign for more comes out every once in awhile, and its pretty cute when it does. The sign for bath, though, suggests a new level of comprehension. Its not a word we use that frequently, and its difficult one to do — you make a scrubbing motion near your chest with both hands in fists. Ben doesn’t quite get it right, and the first time he did it, just after Nicole went for her shower and he tried to follow her in, I wasn’t sure what he was doing. He looks more like a monkey: he flicks his fingers near his armpits. Close enough, right?

He’s also mastered the sign for, and use of, all done, and when he’s finished with his bottle or his food — or just finished with us — he signs all done to let us know.

Yup, our monster is a little genius. We’re kinda glad he hasn’t learned to talk yet… this way he can’t talk back! The other day, Nic left him playing in the living room alone for a few minutes. When she came back, she found him in Abi’s swing. Never mind that the swing is a foot and a half off the ground, Ben worked out a way to get there…

Abi is learning some tricks too. Her trick this morning, at the 4:30am feeding, was to poop explosively out her diaper and onto her pajamas (and Nicole’s!) This obviously led to a late-night changing and cleaning, which led to some crying, which led to Benjamin waking up and screaming, which meant both parents were needed…

I got Benjamin duty, due to my lack of boobs and need to work in the morning. Fortunately, he went back down pretty quick and I was able to get another hour of sleep. Nicole wasn’t so lucky, so I took both babies this morning so Nic could catch a half-hour (try making yourself a coffee, feeding a one-year-old and getting ready for work, all while holding a 2-week-old — without making any noise!)

Oh ya, between the babies and the boxes piling up, things are fun at our place these days…