Posts in Milestones
Milestones: Vocabulary Up One

I’ve decide to make a new category here on Expatria Baby called Milestones wherein I chronicle significant achievements and developments that Stella reaches. This is largely for the benefit of: a) my mother who, I’m quite sure, is the only person to whom this would be interesting, and b) for my future self, as I do not have the capacity to hold information in my mind for longer than about seven seconds, and would like to be able to recall significant events in my child’s history. And because I really treasure each and every moment of babyhood and in some small way want to encase it in amber. Please imagine I didn’t just write that. averts eyes

ANYWHO, Milestones!

Stella added a new sign to her repertoire today, bumping up the total to four. She now signs WATER, which is supposed to look like this:

 

Instead, she does the milk sign with one hand and touches her lips with one finger of the other hand. At least I think so. To be honest, these baby signs are really frickin inaccurate. Babies are not the most dexterous of creatures, nor do they have a good grasp of symbolic meaning. When she signs MORE, she really means WANT. Like, the cat walks into her field of vision, and she signs MORE. Like really, Stella? More cat? What does that even mean? And MILK stands for everything and nothing. I am quite certain that Stella knows what the sign means; it was the first sign she learned and does use it frequently in the correct context. But she busts that sucka out whenever she wants something. Bored of sitting watching me cook? MILK! Tired? MILK! Want to be picked up? MIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLK!

Anyway, WATER. Its cute.

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Not necessarily signing WATER, but making the “signing-face”. Me loves.

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Signs

I have something I want to tell you, something that I kind of want people to know, but I'm also just a little embarrassed to admit: I'm teaching my baby American Sign Language [ASL] vocabulary. I know, I know, how annoying. But I have an interest in language acquisition and child development, so I feel justified in this particular project. BUT I SWEAR TO GOD, I AM NOT A HELICOPTER PARENT, OKAY. I just happen to teach my baby signs. And use cloth diapers. And read parenting books...pretty much to the exclusion of all other types of literature. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go do some flashcards with my baby and drill her multiplication tables. She taps out the answers with her fist against the table, OKAY?

So, anyway. ASL. And parenting books. Before I had a baby, I told myself that I'd be a pretty chill parent; I wouldn't get too worked up about growth charts, and developmental time tables, and all that helicopter fuel. I'd just let my baby grow in her own time, like the little snowflake she is. And most of the time I manage to maintain this attitude, but ever so often, I do succumb to what I can only describe as a parenting reflex: that urge to compare your kid to the timetables (and other kids, cough, cough) and feel reassured that she is developing normally (ahem FASTER than the other kids). Back to those parenting books. I'm reading Brain Rules for Babies (Shut up, OKAY) and the author started to suggest that through vigilant parenting, it is totally normal for a baby to be saying multiple-syllable words by the time she's seven months old. I might add that this is right before a section in which he cautions parents not to compare their child to another, nor push a child to reach milestones before she is ready. Anyway...of course I was shitting my pants, because my little snowflake is seven months old, and only saying vowel sounds, AND OH MY GOD, I NEED TO START INTERVENTIONS IMMEDIATELY SHE WILL PROBABLY NEVER LEARN TO SPEAK AND IT IS TOTALLY MY FAULT FOR NOT TALKING TO HER EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY. Ahem. So anyway, this was rattling around in the back of my mind, humming along at a low level of anxiety, and then yesterday at lunch, I was feeding Stella mashed avocado and she brought her two little hands together in front of her and looked right at me. More, she was signing. Then she did it again. And again. And once more. The whole table saw. And all agreed that I was not delusional. She was signing. So, Stella is seven months old, and she has two signs, More and Milk, and I am feeling rather sheepish, for of course all babies are individuals and develop at their own rate, and Stella is just fine. Language skills coming along just dandy.

No, she's better than fine. Sh's seven months old and SHE CAN SIGN MORE AND MILK. AND UNDERSTAND WONDERFUL AND CAT AND UP AND OMG SHE IS A LITTLE PRODIGY AND A PROBABLY A GENIUS AND OBVIOUSLY A PROXY FOR ME SHE IS SO SMART AND IT IS BECAUSE OF OUR PARENTING AND I AM SO AWESOME. Ahem. Anyway, she can sign. And she loves avocados.

Photo (1)

This photo may or may not contain avocados

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