What Rilla’s saying at the end there is “With Alex, Leah, and Hopkins.” Totally unprompted, I swear.
When I watched our Christmas 2005 video the other day, the bit that gave me the biggest pang of nostalgia was watching Wonderboy signing away. He hardly signs at all anymore, now that he talks so much. I’m thrilled with his verbal speech, but I really miss the signing. It’s funny to think back on how much ASL dominated our lives (in a rich and satisfying way) for a couple of years there, and now our use and pursuit of sign language has slipped to the back burner, becoming something of a hobby rather than a daily necessity. Jane still wants to certify as an ASL interpreter someday, and every few months we pull out our materials and learn another chunk of vocabulary and grammar. There are community college courses we might take next year. It’s a beautiful and important language, and I don’t want to let it go, even if our boy doesn’t need rely on it for communication the way he once did.
And of course the Signing Time DVDs remain in great demand with my little people, as the video above attests. With Rilla, we’re seeing all the benefits of sign language we saw with the first three girls—because rudimentary ASL was a part of our baby & toddler life from the get-go, long before we had a Wonderboy or knew he had hearing loss.
Here are some old posts singing the praises of our favorite kiddie DVDs:
Whoops, it’s all pixelly. No time to fix it now—back later!
UPDATED: Well, I tried and tried. I don’t know what’s wrong with the upload. Tried saving the movie file in various formats, but it comes out pixellated every time. Ah, well. She’s cute even in tiny dots.
Don’t ask me why I picked that particular moment to capture her litany of signs on film—a moment when one hand was clutching the treasured Pink Plastic Phone. She was there, the camera was there, and I’ve been meaning to record her baby signs for weeks. She is exploding with new ones every day, courtesy of her big brother and Signing Time. When Wonderboy and Rilla start signing to each other, I swear my heart turns to jelly. It’s sweeter than I could ever have imagined, back when she was in utero, kicking him through my belly as he signed himself to sleep.
Our family favorite: the Signing Time DVDs and videos. My girls got these for Christmas and we’re all captivated! See All About Wonderboy to find out why we’re learning sign language. Signing Time creator Rachel Coleman, her daughter Leah (who is deaf), and Leah’s cousin Alex (who is hearing) have got my children signing and singing up a storm! We bought them because of the signs and fell in love with them because of the songs—Rachel is a gifted singer and songwriter. Highly recommended. Check them out at www.signingtime.com.
Need practice reading fingerspelling? This site spells out words for you in the manual alphabet, and you type in your answer. It repeats the word over and over until you get it right. ASL Fingerspelling Quiz