I was inspired to publish my drafted posts…these are posts that are unfinished maybe they are missing photos…or definitions…grammar check…but they are my voice…my thoughts…and a peek into my life.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Pippi, I had a long list of must do’s to be a “Perfect Mother.” I knew in my head that such a woman did not exist but if she did I knew she would have a natural birth, breastfeed, use cloth diapers, expose her baby to classical music, multiple languages, read to her baby in the womb, sing lullabies, all while being the “Perfect Wife,” “Perfect Friend,” Perfect Daughter”…..needless to say I set myself up for failure.
Well, I quickly let go of some expectations after my traumatic delivery that left me temporarily paralyzed in one leg–Ok, I let go of one: CLOTH DIAPERS! Boss Man had it right when he kindly mentioned cloth diapers were probably a good idea but did I really think I could keep up with baby laundry and cloth diapers when I (non-working, childless woman) could not keep up with the current laundry. But I digress.
As Super Mom…
I breastfed through cracked, bleeding nipples.
I did read to her and rejoiced when she began turning the pages of Good Night Moon.
I danced with her to classical, spanish, chinese, russian and arabic music.
All of these were good ideas but most helpful idea was and still is……
Baby Sign Language.
So why did I use baby sign? Because I wanted to be a “Perfect Mom.”
Why did we continue?
We started to see results soon…I learned a few signs and used them when Pippi was seven months old…knowing that statistically she would not use the signs until nine months at the earliest…but I wanted to get into the habit. She did start playing with the hand shapes around ten months and slowly started using the signs correctly.
When Pippi would go to Grandma’s or Auntie’s houses she would sign and everyone wanted to learn the basic signs so they could communicate with her….she picked up her signs weeks and sometimes months before she was able to say the same word or phrase–and it was easier to understand her sign language than her toddler speak for many people.
Why am I going to teach my new little girl Baby Sign?
To reduce stress in the home. It is much less stressful to teach a word rather than learning what grunts and arm flailing represent. I started at a young age teaching Pippi to “use your words.” If she did not have words to express what she was trying to tell us I looked up a new sign.
Why do I still sign with my four year old?
Because it is part of our family language….We sign I love you, give I love you kisses, sign yes and no amongst each other with out others taking notice, remind Pippi to say please and thank you discreetly and in the moment. We are able to communicate with our signs..I can send Boss Man to check on Pippi in the restroom with a simple sign….and when I was pregnant I could excuse myself politely in public and sign that I was going to the ‘potty’ for the umpteenth time.–Oh and in Church a quick sign….ok so it is mostly ‘I love you”, ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘potty’ that we use sign language still but when she was younger we had a larger signing vocab.
I am rambling–that is another benefit of sign language for Boss Man…fewer ramblings.
I will keep this short..ok I will finish quickly…The time is here to start signing more consistently with new little baby girl, Fi, she is nearly six months!
I thought I would share what signs we are adding along the way.
Now, Pippi is seven, Fi is three and I have a baby boy,E, who is eight months old. And, yes we are beginning to sign with him for all the same reasons! And I embraced that a real Super Mom is not perfect. She is authentic…she gets tired, mad and makes mistakes…she learns from them and demonstrates how to take care of herself, ask for and receive help, seeks forgiveness and shares grace…and so many more attributes….perfection not included.