I feel like I’m not capable of starting a blog entry just telling the story I’m sitting down to write without given an excessive amount of background information. Anyway, Rob and I decided we weren’t going to spend much time working on baby sign language with the girls. Not that either of us were opposed to it- it just seemed like the research on it suggests that it’s really sort of neutral for your children. And I tend to be the type of person that is- what’s the word- obsessive compulsive about things I’m committed to and I didn’t want to feel like a flash card mom who was spending too much precious hanging out with the chickens time pressuring them to sign or talk. Now I have speech pathologist friends who feel extremely intense feelings on both sides of the issue. Some of them imply that by using sign language with children, you are cursing them by ensuring they won’t learn to talk before age five because they rely too much on it. Others feel that every child should be able to use American Sign Language fluently by age 2, thereby insuring they will be bright enough for automatic admission to an Ivy League university by the time they’re 15. We sort of landed on teaching them a few signs, starting around 6 to 9 months that would help reduce their frustration in trying to communicate with us until they learned to talk. So we started using “more,” “please,” and “eat” in a really half-hearted way around that time. Imagine our surprise when they actually started using them. By the time they were around a year old, they were able to say the words, but they’ve continued using their signs, which has led to some fun moments that I want to be sure that I write here.
This fall, it was raining pretty hard out off and on for most of the day, so L, E and I had spent most of the day indoors. When Rob got home, he thought it was warm enough to take the girls outside to play in the rain. So we did- and they loved it. They were both running around and giggling like crazy and playing “chase Daddy,” a family favorite. Suddenly, they rain stopped and both E and L simultaneously looked up and waved at the sky and said “bye-bye!” Then E. turned to Rob and said “mohwer, mohwer, Daddy!”all the while making the more sign. And Rob, while I’m sure he was flattered that E had such faith in his abilities, had to tell her, “I’m sorry, E, honey, but only God can make the rain.” God, however, heard E’s request and started the rain again a minute later. So now, of course, she still believes that Robert can make the rain. And he is a very talented teacher and writer, but not as much of a meteorological miracle worker, so we’ll have to see how that plays out as she get older.
Here are a couple of shots of E and her Dad playing in my parent's backyard: