This is probably my last post about Lorenzo's sign language vocabulary because he's aquiring new words at a faster pace and is coupling most words with their verbal complement. I just wanted to capture some of his first words so I don't forget. Lately he's been enamored with tractor (ta ta) and truck (ta) signs. He's also picked up the signs for keys and bunny (sort of) and says the words juice and some of the syllables in jacuzzi (can't remember exactly how he says it, but I always understand what he means). I'm showing him a lot of animal signs now. His favorite books to look at now are our National Audobon Society Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes of the Carribean... and a children's book of everyday things. The interesting thing about the book of everyday things is that the objects/animals/people in the book are like clay forms of stuff like people, a horse, clock, etc. instead of photographs of the real things. I am amazed that children are able to identify things that way. Lorenzo will see a silhoutte of a dog with wings on a CD cover and will do the dog sign. Neat.
What makes me so happy about Lorenzo's communication is that not only can he share his world with us this way, but we can understand him as well. I think we could have figured out what he says anyway, but with the signs it is pretty clear. It's cute to also see him signing to other little kids and adults in the park or wherever we happen to be. Such a wonderful boy.
Lorenzo started signing cold, as in low temperature, while standing in front of the air conditioner. Robin worked with him on that one during our recent freak NYC April heat wave in. :)
Lorenzo started signing bird this weekend in Saratoga and repeated a few times when we got back to Brooklyn. :)
I haven't written about parenting Lorenzo in a while. I have figured that the first year musings and milestones would be fun to record, and that I would mainly log my thoughts and feelings about being with/playing with Lorenzo from now on.
I want to slip in this note about how Lorenzo's communication has been improving, however, because it's such a big deal that he can indicate to us what he's thinking and what he wants. For a while, he's been able to indicate what he wants by pointing. But we've also been following Joseph Garcia's book, Sign with Baby since he was about 6 months old. Lorenzo is now 14 months old and is starting to pick up signs rather quickly.
At first we worked on the sign for milk, since it's been the most common and necessary thing in his life up to now, and cat, since he loves chasing around our cat. He got the milk sign around 9 months I think and uses it for milk or for drink. He also can sign hot, which he learned because of our fireplace. He does those 2 signs frequently, but hasn't done cat yet -- cat seems like it might be a little difficult to do manually. Then yesterday, he surprised us, when I showed him the sign for more, for the first time and he did right away!
The reason I'm writing about this is because it's so exhilirating to see Lorenzo communicate with us. We've come a far way from trying to guess what his cries mean to having Lorenzo tell us what he wants. It's such a wonderful thing being a part of it all.
Robin and I bought Joseph Garcia's ASL book Sign with your baby before Lorenzo was born and have been working on Milk and Toilet off and on with him. We also do Cat to refer to our cat Scooter. Garcia suggests starting to sign around 7 months, but we've been doing it anyway, mostly to learn the signs ourselves. A while back I also came across a great site called HandSpeak with animated gifs showing how to sign. There is a nice section with signs specifically for baby.