Teaching my babies signs has been a habit since about child # 3. It just makes good sense to me. Signing offers little people, too young to express themselves verbally, a way to let me know what’s on their mind. And so around 6 months or so, I begin introducing the basics. I don’t get anything in response until about 9 months, but by that time they know without thinking what each sign means.
Of course, this time I had twins and NOTHING has been as I’ve expected. These little guys are systematically re-writing the parenting book as I knew it and it barely resembles the earlier editions.
Both boys quickly picked up on the signs we taught them. Both boys can sign simple requests and do it regularly. But one little man has learned to talk far earlier than any of my other kids ever did. He’s like a parrot as he runs around the house repeating just about everything he hears.
And so, naturally, when he throws his hands up at the end of a meal to sign “all done” he also clearly says the words in his raspy little voice. Same with “more” and “eat”. When I sign and say, “I love you!” his sweet mouth squeaks out the words, “I uvvv” but then giggles hysterically and never says “you”.
Cute, yes! But it also kind of makes me wonder if it was really useful to spend more than 6 months introducing hand signals for words he learned to say as early as he learned to sign!