It was thanksgiving weekend and we had family over for dinner. Naturally, I was a busy Dad showing off all of my son’s baby signing tricks and signs so he was getting plenty of positive attention. Neither of my sister’s had been able to come up so the cousins weren’t competing for GRANDMA and PAPA’s adulation. My baby was loving it. We pulled out all his books and he had a ball reading them with Grandma and doing the signs for her. Grandma, of course was impressed and couldn’t resist calling him a pretty smart boy. I had to remind her that any baby can sign, and that she just felt that way because he was more expressive with his language so she could see his mind working more so than other babies. Whether or not she believes this is another story.
After dinner, we served ice cream which I had taught the sign for some time ago. My baby really enjoyed doing the sign since we were so animated in teaching him. ICE CREAM is signed by lapping your tongue in and out and moving your hand as if licking from the top of a cone. We just added a bit more enthusiasm, and he was right into it! Throughout dinner I had him do the sign to show Grandma and Papa. We each got a small bowl and I fed my son his serving. At the end of his first small serving he asked for MORE and did the sign to the amusement of the entire family. He quickly finished that and I told him that we were ALL DONE. I was engrossed in conversation and Courtney noticed that our son was doing the sign for PLEASE. On his own! No one had prompted him. This was the first time he had done the sign without being asked to do so. It was actually pretty amazing to see him apply the sign so perfectly. Even though he was on his second serving, we couldn’t resist giving him his third!
Imagine having proper manners at 16 months! That’s the power of baby sign language. Over the week previous I’m sure I caught a few THANK YOU’s in there as well. THANK YOU happens so fast it can easily be missed if you aren’t paying attention. However, up until his PLEASE for ice cream, it hadn’t fully sunk in. My son just turned 16 months and was using proper etiquette and had manners.