my poor sicky baby signs "dog"
As I mentioned yesterday, Nate's newest sign is DOG. To sign DOG, pat the top of your leg with your hand twice, as if you were calling a dog to your side. What Nate does when he signs DOG is what is known as an approximation (very common with babies learning to sign) - he slaps his chest. Even though he isn't doing the sign "correctly" I'm sure to acknowledge his effort every time and then repeat the sign correctly. Just like if he were speaking a word. Frankly, I prefer his method. It's awkward to hit the top of your leg when you're in certain positions - like sitting reading a book.
He might have signed DOG fifty times today. EVERYtime we see our dog Ava - DOG! When we come across a dog in a book - DOG! When we saw a dog outside - DOG! What is amazing to me is that he is labeling creatures as "dogs" without me telling him that they belong in that category. Its not as if he is simply memorizing that certain pictures are "dogs." He'll spontaneously label animals that he's never seen before (like the dogs we saw on the street today) dogs without me uttering a word. At eleven months! Signing is allowing us a little window into his developing brain that we would otherwise never have. Sure he'd be able to point and act excited. But now he can actually tell me what is on his mind. (Usually washing machines and dogs.)
What's also interesting is that dogs can vary greatly in appearance. I'm curious to see which dogs he finds worthy of the label. He saw a dachshund in a book and knew it was a dog, but the basset hound was passed over. I'm wondering if a certain Penelope the bulldog will make the cut.