So you might have read that I took the initiative to start signing with my son, but it was my wife who planted the seed so to speak. I guess her idea sprouted and grew leaves. At the time, my son was just knee-high to a grasshopper and I had more things on my mind than teaching my son such a frivolous skill. I thought to myself that it would be pointless and that he’d soon be speaking. I had no idea how long this would take, I guess I figured he’d be talking inside of the year anyway. After going through the process I can safely say that I didn’t know much then, especially compared to now. At 12 months, he was only saying common words like Mom and Dad clearly. The rest was just basic sounds. By 16 months he had added some words, but they weren’t very clear at all. By this time he had added over 80 signs so it wasn’t a mystery that signing had served it’s purpose.
This blog entry is more than just about me personally, it’s about what you can learn vicariously though my experiences and what you might relay to a reluctant spouse such as myself. I was a skeptic, then I researched it, then I applied it. In between not signing, researching and signing, things settled down. I got the hang of the routine of parenting a baby, the lack of sleep, the changes in responsibility, the shoving aside of my personal desires. You know exactly what I’m talking about. However, these things will settle down with time. By 6 months of age, your baby will be in a routine, more or less, they will be sleeping longer stretches at night. The might be into regular daily naps giving you time to read and relax when you aren’t busy doing laundry, cleaning and the like. I did it all, so I’m right there with you! I was home with my son most of time minus brief repose for work commitments so I know what it takes to be a mom and a dad and a mom-dad (had my son fulltime for 2 months starting at 10 months).
As I researching signing, the idea grew on me. As a Dad, it would be a challenge, I could push myself to do. I could escape from the doldrums of the routine and actually talk with my baby. Things didn’t have to be a one-way street, we could go back and forth. By the time my son reached 14 months, and I had him every other day, it was a saviour. We worked on signs all day long and showed mom what we learned when she was at work. When I was working, my wife did the same. He began to add more and more words as he grew older, but the experiences we had early on were priceless. If you are a Dad or your husband is reluctant, just get started and you’ll see what a benefit signing is. I promise that you’ll not only have a baby you can show off to others, but will have a more enriched relationship with them because of it.