2 months old, week 3
The winter began to mellow down and the snowhills slowly melted away but the weather had just cranked up again with furries.
Juli twisted her hand in her mouth a bit more. She grew a little stronger in standing with support. Her lashes grew blacker and longer. Her movements were getting a bit more coordinated. Her tongue protuded more or she explored her tongue. Her first immunization shots. Her legs lifted up and swinged sideways, a step toward rolling over onto side.
Exploring the world
Not long ago, Juli began to fuss during those evenings prior to bedtimes. Diaper, check. Burp, check. Feeding, check. And all needs. Juli should be content as she usually was. But, she was not.
Then I discovered a reason. She wanted to get up and explore the world. Juli loved having a walk around the house, especially in the evenings before bedtime.
Baby at this stage does not point yet so what I can do is to point at an object and its utter name in ASL.
color what? green. color what? blue. color what? yes, right, yellow.
fish.. turtle.. frog hopping
Parentese: tactile techniques
Tactile language play
Each modality of speech and signlan has its own properties that one can use. Signlan has an advantage of the spatial-tactile property that ASL parents often use to play language with.
For example, an native-ASL parent did a language play of her own in ASL with her baby Abbey who was 17 weeks old. It's called "Rainbow", in which she played painting a different imaginary color on her baby's body, introducing each color.
Signing on baby's body
Video clip: One of "parentese" techniques in sign language is to talk on the baby's body (depending on which ASL signs, not all), especially when the parent is behind the baby.
Molding baby's handshape
Another "parentese" technique in sign language is to mold a baby's fingers into a specific handshape as long as the baby doesn't mind. In the video clip, as Dude is about to leave, I showed Juli the handshape "ILY" (an ASL shortcut word for "I Love You").
Got a story to tell your experience and share it with others? Send an email (even better with a video clip) to Handspeak. I'd love to hear about it, too.
Cross-cultural communication: "cannot hear"
The first newborn "GR" was given a hearing test on the first day of his life at the hospital. At end of the test, the English-speaking specialist told the ASL-speaking mother that GR "can't hear."
The mother nodded. For the next few months more or less, the mother had been vocalizing, turning on TV with sounds, playing music, and so on.
The mother's interpreter friend asked why. On discovering the reason, the interpreter friend explained that the specialist meant GR was deaf.
Deaf?! The mother was surprised. She interpreted the phrase "can't hear", which meant that it was too early to give RG a test that the machine cannot detect the hearing ability of the baby whether he can hear or not.
In an American hearing culture, indirect message is common, but in ASL/Deaf culture, message is typically direct.