Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ziggy's First Word!!

Signed word, that is: Milk.

My big beautiful boy began doing the sign for "nurse" a couple weeks ago. I thought it coincidental. Until Sunday, the day after his 6 month birthday. As he sat on the sofa cuddled up with his visiting grandparents, he began to squeeze his little fist together emphatically. We could no longer deny his intentional usage of the sign! It's just AMAZINGLY cool.

Now, yes. I know when he's hungry anyway, but it's absolutely delightful that he can now tell me when he simply desires the closeness that nursing brings, and he can likewise tell his father "Find mama!" or his grandparents or other family members / caregivers, "I'm ready to nurse!"

Last night we went visiting & to deliver supper to friends. Ziggy was fine there for the better part of an hour, though he wouldn't smile, laugh or chatter to our friends. Blue bandana on his head, making his own big eyes bluer, he drank in his surroundings, rather in quietly serious repose. He seemed happy enough in the arms of someone else for most of that time until he caught my eye and began to sign "nurse" to me over & over. He was so clear that one of our friends noted how the sign is like milking a cow. Indeed.

As he seemed to crave not only nursing, but a time of reconnection with Mama, we stole on out to the car in our friends' driveway and snuggled into the backseat to nurse in the quiet darkness, distractions at bay. Immediately, Ziggy began to suckle heartily. Initial hunger sated, he unlatched, pulled back his sweet head and looked up at me with the most mischievious smile and eye twinkle. He couldn't have been more clear in telling me, "You got it, Mama! I told you what I wanted and you knew and gave it to me!"

As My Beloved Mister says, our boy is becoming more of a person all the time, with clear likes and dislikes and an ability to navigate and communicate greater subtlety.

His next might-be-coincidental sign would seem to be Dog. Apropos, as his friendship with Bert blossoms daily.


  1. Congratulations, Ms. Booty! Was there some resource (training/book/etc.) you used to learn about teaching him the signs, or are you winging it? I'm very curious about how well this works for people, and how it's learned and practiced. Thanks, and congrats!

  2. my dds first sign was shoes.
    second was milk. :)
    but she too was obviously pleased when we got what she was "saying"

    the most touching was when she seeming to be very fussy and crying so hard, and I signed and asked her if her teeth hurt. she was over a year old, and knew both the signs, and totally understood what I was asking her. she nodded and stopped crying. I think her teeth still hurt, but she knew that I knew, and she didnt have to sob anymore.

    FWIW, we use ASL, a variety of resources to learn it, and share it w/dd. it was a fantastic bridge from non verbal to verbal skills with our gal.


  3. Thanks, Rachel. (your site, by the way, is just GREAT.)

    W/r/t signing: I bought a little book months ago for the basics and while I did take an introductory Baby Signs class, it doesn't use all ASL, which to me was important. So I've used a handful of books and this great website:

    Basically, I simply incorporate a few signs at a time, signing and saying aloud the words I think will be most used: Mama, Daddy, Baby, Music, Milk, Change, Friend, cat, dog, car, eat, drink, etc.

    I will will use a couple or three 'til I'm comfortably consistent w/ using them and add as we go. That's pretty much it for now.

  4. Nanki, that's a great story about Zibby's teeth and the pain. (We actually had an ER visit w/ Ziggy last night, and we're working on the sign for "pain" so that we can communicate more clearly about this; as it was, Vandy Children's ER staffers were amazed at how well he / we communicate). That Daddy Booty is totally on board w/ signage is very helpful. Have you other folks who sign to Zibby? Also, what's your favorite ASL website? would love to know....

    be well!