I have waited so long for this sign. For Daisy to use language – signed or otherwise – for communication rather than transaction. Currently, pretty much all her language is about transaction: getting stuff she wants done.
It’s because of this that – in the tumbleweed moment at our meeting with the Educational Psychologist when she asked what outcomes we wanted – I asked that “to express her feelings and emotions” be used at her desired EHCP outcome.
And, as is typical of her, after months of using the sign and modelling it – particularly with the help of The Fox And The Star, which tells us that “Even when the rain fell, Fox felt fine…”, suddenly she uses it spontaneously and entirely appropriately in a completely different context. In this case, whilst getting into the bath. One foot in, one foot out, she looked at me, looked at her hands and very carefully, very deliberately raised her thumbs.
A minute later, the ‘good’ sign was linked to other signs: bath good, daddy good, Daisy good….
This morning, I asked if she was good and she shook her head. In fairness, it was very early and she did appear to be in a somewhat grumpy mood. But, when she found my laptop and we put Frozen on, we had another little happy squeal, a finger pointed to the screen and the “good” sign returned!
And it is the cutest sign ever!
A couple of days ago, whilst reading Coralie Bickford-Smith’s gorgeous The Fox and The Star – when did books get so good looking? – we were merrily signing Fox and Star for obvious reasons and, on the page where Fox looks up and sees a sky full of stars – which always elicits a “Yay!” from her, so there’s some sense of following a narrative going on. –
Anyway, at this page, I started singing and signing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It seemed an obvious thing to do. Despite my singing voice.
But Daisy joined in! Certainly the signing and some humming along to the melody. FABULOUS!
I asked her, “Do you sing that at school?”
“Yeah,” she replied.
So, as you do, we repeated the song over and over. Tried to do it to an audience of one – her mum – the following day without success.
But here’s the thing.
We went on a road trip the next day. Yesterday. And tried to get her to sing-sign again. Again without success. But, being, generally, an idiot, I mused later “I wonder if we could get her to sign with her feet….”
This was perhaps at nine in the morning.
At seven at night, book number three was again The Fox and The Star after The Gruffalo’s Child and The Highway Rat. Again, we reached the skyful of stars and signed Twinkle Twinkle… and she stuck her foot out! Clenching and unclenching her toes to make a star sign, tapping her head with her big toe like a contortionist to wonder.
Either she heard my earlier comment, understood it, remembered it ten hours later and responded when the context invited it… or she is just as bonkers as her dad!