At about 16 ½ months, my signing baby really started to “get it.” Up until that point he’d done the signs more or less through approximation, but this time around, he really seemed to watch his hands and ours too. His sign for BOAT was just a waving action with his hands about shoulder width apart even though the correct sign is done by cupping the hands together and bobbing them up and down as if floating. We’d do the sign as we read through on of his books, however, this time around, he seemed to clue in to the fact that my hands were doing something different than his.
I could just see the ‘wheels’ spinning in his mind as he tried to move his hands more like mine. Soon after he got the hands coming together and was able to produce a cupping action. He then started played around with the bobbing action. It still wasn’t perfect, but we could really see that he had graduated a level in his signing. It was truly amazing to witness.