4 months, week 3
Juli sat by herself with her hands on the floor for a short time up to a few minutes. She reached her feet with her hands. Sooner or later, she would put them in her mouth. Rolled from back to tummy.
Juli sat on my lap in front of the closet mirror. She looked at herself and me in the mirror. She smiled at herself and smiled a lot more at her reflected mother than myself.
In addition to the closet mirror, I held a hand mirror in front of Juli. She looked at me in the handheld mirror and I made eye contact with her in the handheld mirror.
Juli then shifted her gaze at me in the closet mirror. Again I looked at her. She gazed back at the handheld mirror and made eye contact with me. We continued doing the gaze turn-taking between the handheld and the closet mirror.
Eye contact and gaze shifting are important skills in language development.
A sign of the beginning to understand
The other day as I was out for grocery shopping without her once, I informed Juli where I was going. Juli cried "maaa maaaa".
Recently, taking Juli to the grocery store, I introduced the ASL words food store. She, sitting in the shopping cart, smiled and turned her head to look around.
Before I headed out the door this week, I informed Juli Mother ix-me go-out, drive-to food store (glosses). I repeated a few times and also added, ix-me come-here home will will will.
Juli smiled and busily looked around. I left, shopped, and checked my cellphone for a new message. I felt tempted to text Dude and asked how it was. Nope, I came back home and found Juli in happy state. We greeted.
In the past weeks, I observed Juli's responses at the end of my utterances. Sometimes Juli looked at me with pondering eyebrows. Sometimes, she kicked and waved excitedly. Sometimes she smiled at the end of my utterances.
The ASL words that I used with Juli this week are as follows: drive(car), food shopping, cook food, apple, foot ... and the usuals.
I couldn't help it but enjoyed using parentese, especially with the ASL verb drive-vehicle.
I kept signing this ASL verb drive-vehicle this way. Somehow it felt familiar as if I had used this parentese long years ago with one of my family members or relatives who are native-signers.
Video clip (translation): "Today (we'll be) going out and driving to the music club". I used the "music friends" for "music club".
Elliott the Cat
Juli visited her uncle and the cat Elliott. Like the first visit, there was a complete trust between the cat, the baby, and us to be close to each other.
Video clip: "cat"
Reading of the week
A favorite part of this book is the surprise at the end of the peek-a-boo of animals. Babies surprise themselves with their own faces in the mirror.
Got a story to tell your experience and share it with others? Send an email to Handspeak. I'd love to hear about it, too.