I’m a unique Dad and not just because I sign, some other Dad’s sign too. I guess the difference between me and most (but, not all Dad’s) is that I spend an inordinate amount of time with my son. Specifically, we spend nearly 75% of our waking hours together. It started when my wife Courtney, had to go back to work full-time to maintain her teaching position. My baby was 10 months old then and just nearing the time when signing was reaching its peek. When our baby was just a few months old, on the offhand mention of my wife, I began devouring all the literature that I could find on baby sign language. I’m a scientist by mind, by day though, I do various other things. Suffice it to say it fit nicely with my interest in body language which I feel made the ideal fit. I digress, but I have been researching and applying body language for over well over a decade having written on the subject.
Back to baby sign. As I read more and more into baby sign language, I became more fascinated by the results and challenge it could provide. I relayed the information as I digested it back to Courtney. Together we got more and more engrossed, and began to live it full time. We started signing when our baby was 9 months old and things were beginning to become more routine (and less stressful). While Courtney was back teaching, I continued it as part of my daily routine. This comes full circle as to why I’m a unique Dad. How many Dad’s do you know who care fulltime for a baby under a year old? Not many, I would presume, and how many take the first steps toward baby sign, again not many. Now I take my son every other day on my own and often spend that other day with my wife and son, sometimes taking breaks to chase down some money to pay bills or write. This makes up the other 25% allotment. Now that me and my baby sign together, and spend so much time with each other, we have a special bond – in my estimation at least. I can’t accurately compare my life to others, but I would say there’s an excellent chance that it’s unique in this respect. If you are a mom and are reading (chances are excellent this is so), have Dad read this so he can know that signing is an great chance to build a strong relationship with his little person. Speaking as a father, I can tell you that not communicating with my son would have made our relationship monotonous and tedious. Why wait until he’s talking up a storm to take-over Dad-teaching-duties. Start right now!