Living the life of a signing parent is not much different than an “ordinary” parent. Follow along and see for yourself. Keep in mind as you read that the only words you sign, are the ones in all capital letters.
8:00 a.m. Your baby wakes up fully rested! You ask your baby if they have had a good SLEEP. You then ask them if they want UP and out of their crib for a DIAPER change. Your baby reaches up with their arms indicating that they are ready for the day.
8:15 a.m. You put baby down on the bed and talk about changing their diaper. You say “Baby, we’re going to do a DIAPER change, let’s take off this DIRTY DIAPER and put you in a clean DIAPER.” Next you put on baby’s clean SOCKS, SHIRT and PANTS making their sign as your just about to put them on.
8:45 a.m. You get your baby’s breakfast ready all the while signing as you go. If MILK is on the menu, you sign as you pour, warm and otherwise prepared the milk. Breastfeeding mothers follow the same ritual as they get ready to feed. You might say “Is baby ready to EAT, are you HUNGRY and want some MILK?”, “Look baby, MOM has MILK for BABY.”
9:30 a.m. Your baby is all done their breakfast so now it’s time to go PLAY. You put your baby down and let them crawl or walk about. You give them some TOYS, their TRUCK or DOLL and tell them to PLAY with them.
Above: Play: In the ASL sign for PLAY the “Y” handshape is made by both hands and shaken at the wrist akin to shaking a tambourine.
12:30 p.m. Now it’s time for lunch so you ask them if they would like to EAT. As you work away in the kitchen you show your baby the HOT stove and how they shouldn’t touch it by saying NO TOUCH. The food is ready so you put baby in their highchair and you sign all the foods they will have. MEAT, POTATOE, CHEESE, BANANA’S, APPLE, WATER, etc. You talk about the foods as they are eaten and quiz your baby for the signs.
1:30 p.m. It’s time for bed so you ask your baby if they are TIRED and ready to go to SLEEP. One more DIAPER CHANGE before bed. While on the bed you sign FAN and LIGHT which amuses your baby as they lay looking upward.
2:30 p.m. Up from naptime and off to PLAY once again or to read BOOKS. While reading, you learn signs for various ANIMALS such as BIRDS, MONKEYS, ELEPHANTS and so on. While outside for a walk you make signs for TREES, FLOWERS, WIND, CAT and DOG, CLOUDS and so forth. You sign whatever signs you know as you go.
Above: We’re fortunate to live near a zoo. A few days before our visit to the zoo we began priming Holden with the sign ELEPHANT so the sign would be solidified into his vocabulary. If you can’t make it to the zoo yourself, this video can work just fine to teach your child ELEPHANT.
3:30 p.m. Out comes the CAT running about. You and baby track him down and GENTLE TOUCH the cat as you stroke it. Off goes baby toward a delicate vase so we talk about NO TOUCH.
3:45 p.m. Time for a short WALK before dinner. Outside we see BIRDS, the neighbours CAT, CLOUDS, TRUCKS and CARS, TREES, FLOWERS, oh so much to see.
5:30 p.m. Time for dinner so it’s another chance to learn more food related signs.
7:00 p.m. BATH time! So we do signs for CLEAN, DUCK, WATER, TOOTHBRUSH, etc.
8:00 p.m. It’s bedtime, so time for reading BOOKS and learning some sign-songs.