This is the view from one of our local playgrounds. Often, as we play here, we get the chance to see a train drive by (plenty far away to be perfectly safe!) and hear the gratifying "toot toot" of its horn. This is often the highlight of our trip for my 18 month old, who LOVES trains right now.
Normally, it's "out of sight, out of mind," and once the train passes we go back to playing and having a great time. On one recent trip, though, Mr. L. was more obsessed with the train than usual. After the end of the train passed, he stayed seated in the mulch where he'd plopped himself and pointed in the direction of the train track.
Without the blessing of early communication that Signing Smart has brought to my family, this might have been the beginning of the end. This situation could have quickly turned from enjoying the train to pointing to whining to full on melt down and tantrum.
Luckily, we have been blessed with the gift of communication, and I was given a window my little one's mind - in a way that is well beyond what he is ready to share verbally. Here's how our conversation went: