Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What Say You?

It is official. I'm a dumb ass.

A friend loaned a few of her Signing Times DVDs to me. If you're not familiar, Signing Times is a program that helps parents teach their children simple words in Sign Language. Babyhood is rather like living in a country where you don't speak the language. Eventually, everyone gets frustrated at your attempts to communicate via hand gestures (or, if you're a baby, screaming fits). Sign Language helps parents and babies work well and play nice with others.

My twin toddlers have a speech delay, as did their father and grandfather before them. Since I prefer communication that is absent of shrieking and soul piercing wails, I decided to give Sign Language a try. We'd successfully learned four or so words on our own, and then I borrowed the discs and sat my children in front of the television set.

They are taking to Sign Language like ducks to water. My daughter, who had assigned the word "more" to about sixteen different definitions, today walked up and requested the Signing Times DVD to be played. In Sign Language. It has been less than a week. My son spent a good deal of this evening delighting in telling us that he was a girl (we are assuming he has the Signs mixed up and that he is not trying to clue us in to early gender confusion).

And then there's me.

How the heck am I supposed to remember all these hand positions? I watched my children walk around this afternoon discussing The Pelican Brief with their nanny (okay, not really, but almost), who, as it turns out, used to be fluent in Signing. The three of them giggled away as they made confusing gestures with their hands while I tried to keep up and remember how to say "cookie".

I need a make up class.

This is entirely unfair. I'm a talker. I'm a good talker, a great talker, I talk a lot. I assumed the fact that I lack a natural affinity for learning spoken languages would not carry over to Signing. I have long daydreamed about being the beautiful, angelic like creature on the podium of a large church who translated the word of God elegantly and flawlessly for the hearing impaired. I assumed, at least, that this could be my thing, and that, again - AT LEAST - I'd be quickly floating around the house communicating with my children with graceful Signs.

Instead, I am frantically pressing the forward and reverse buttons on my DVD player so I can make sure I'm not confusing the word water with tears, and that I look like I'm milking a cow when I mean milk, and not like I'm attempting to wring out my socks (which I'm sure means something else entirely).

Come to think of it, perhaps it's my fault my baby boy is telling me he's a girl.

Clearly, I have some studying to do. Smart as a fourth grader - ha. I'm hoping to become as smart as my toddlers.

We'll see.


pacman said...

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Tulips said...

Read this aloud to R, and we both got a good laugh. I have a Baby Signs cheat sheet/poster I can dig up for you!


Champagne on Tuesdays said...

Thanks, Furniture! I will check out your site.

Tulips, I'd love that cheat sheet, thanks!