Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Noodles....One More Reason I'm Glad Signing Smart is Part of Our Lives

Perhaps you read the title of today's blog post and thought...noodles?! How are noodles even remotely connected to signing and language development?

Trust me, until recently, I would've had the same reaction.  After multiple mornings experiencing the same scenario, though, noodles are one more reason to add to long list of things that make me so grateful for this approach to early communication and long-term learning.

Here's the scenario 

 I wake up far too early for my preference.  Either the alarm has gone off, or someone is calling from his crib.  Depending on what caused the wakening, the next few events happen in a variety of orders, but I go through the typical morning routine, trip over a few cats demanding breakfast, and get Mr. L. up and ready for the day. 

I don't know about you, but at this point in the day, my brain is not quite working at full capacity. This is all the more true when Mr. L. is calling from his crib and getting him up and dressed is first on my list.  So, when I hear a smiley but emphatic "noose" come out of that little mouth, it throws me for a loop!

"Hey, it's not nice to request a noose to use on you mom!  Wait a minute, how does he even know that word?"

"What's that bud?"


 My brow is deeply furrowed from confusion.

This time he signs NOODLE and shows me a huge grin. Then saying and signing at the same time noose (NOODLE) eat (EAT).

"Noodles?  You want noodles for breakfast?"

That big grin doesn't even fade while he nods enthusiastically.

"We don't eat noodles for breakfast.  Would you like some...."

From there, our conversation goes back to something fairly normal.  At least as normal as any conversation with a two year old can be. 

Once I've had some coffee, and my foggy brain starts to clear I can finally take a minute to giggle at this conversation.  In the same instant, I'm so grateful for the gift of early communication American Sign Language has afforded us.  At that early hour, noodles would have been no where near the top of the list when I was trying to figure out what my little man was asking for. I can easily envision the tantrum that would have ensued if I hadn't understood his request.  I'm also grateful that he had the tools to help me understand him when I didn't right away.  Without missing a beat, he was able to repeat his request calmly, add signs to help me understand him, and extend his request to help clarify it.  No doubt, this was made possible by our use of the 4 Keys to Signing Smart Success and the other tools and strategies we learned.

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