Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Word a Day? Just about...!

They're coming quick, these new words! Especially in sign!!

Today's newest communication with her hands: Baby! (crossed arms in front of chest, rock back and forth). Granted, her baby is an amended "Kaese" (cheese): she crosses her hands in front of her chest, but doesn't move them as she does in "Kaese" (cheese). This word came as we were reading a book in her rocking chair this morning--as soon as we sit in that chair, she's adamant that we pick a book off the shelf and read it (a habit born through lots of repetition!) She pointed at a book full of dogs and babies--perfect opportunity to practice a word she clearly knows with one that we're trying to teach her. Larry Cohen, of Playful Parenting, talks about the importance of following a child's lead, especially when you're hoping to achieve a certain outcome. How's that for following her lead?!

As for the verbal piece, she doesn't yet say "baby" completely, but "babah" came out of her mouth soon after I said "baby" (same word in German and English) multiple times and showed her lots of pictures!

Similarly, while we were looking at a book before bed tonight, she actually said "Baer" (bear) after I pointed at the bear and told her what it was. More yay!

And yesterday, during our neighborhood breakfast at Jamie's house, Kaya signed "wasser" (water). That was super exciting for me because, like cheese, she's been seeing that one for at least 6 months, but it's a relatively hard sign to do (three fingers in front of one's mouth, in the form of a W). Her form is true to baby signers everywhere--close enough to send the signal, loose enough to be real. =)

I'm finding that it's getting easier and easier to use and teach her new signs, because she keeps reinforcing my efforts through her learning!! =)I'd imagine that, one day, I won't be nearly as excited about all these words. But for now, Oh My Gosh!! I love it. She just keeps getting more and more fun EVERY day! Language is amazing--communication is really. Our brain. It's crazy spectacular!


  1. A question came up to my mind, Tamara: did she spend time with other people at that age? I mean, apart from your neighbours. Did she have any other caregivers besides you and your husband? I ask that because I was wondering how she'd manage her baby signing with other people when, f.i., a word doesn't start with the same letter in German as in English.
    Sophie spends 2/3 of her day with people speaking Portuguese to her. Maybe some of baby signing would help her with others.
    Oh, by the way, she 1 and 5 months now...
    Thanks, thanks, thanks!

  2. Hi Lygia,
    I have always been Kaya's primary caregiver, though she has also spent 1 day and 1 night nearly every week (since with her grandparents (native English speakers). Now that I look back, however, I see that Kaya stopped nursing 4 days after I wrote this post: when she turned 13 months. I can't remember if they had her at this point, though I think perhaps they did...funny, how it's all a blur, those details. But basically, I was mostly it, aside from my friends and Dada. I think that baby sign could help, but at the same time, it will be a foreign language to those people too, unless they teach it to her or learn it with/from you...
    Look forward to hearing more soon!


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