Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby Sign Language Tip: Manners & Burritos Don't Mix

Dave's birthday was earlier this month and I wanted Nate to make his card special (he was a wee bit too young last year to participate), but we didn't have any crayons. So I dug out some old pastels I had and gave one to Nate to use to decorate Daddy's card. At thirteen months, I think he's slightly young for crayons, but he loved that pastel so much that he threw a fit when I ended our drawing session. So I thought it was time to get some art supplies.

Stockmar Beeswax Block Crayons - Set of 8I've been researching non-toxic art materials and I have my eye on these Stockmar Beeswax Block Crayons, but after going to three separate art stores in the area and coming up empty, I gave up and decided to buy regular old crayons for now. I'll have to order my fancy-pants crayons online. So this weekend, I came home with fat, triangular crayolas, a huge roll of paper, a foam board and a giant coloring book and let Nate go to town.

He is so cute with the crayons. And he's quite good at drawing stick people...with no heads or other features. Since he likes to eat the crayons, I sit and color with him and of course he always wants the color I use. I know he wants my crayon because he just yanks it out of my hand. So I thought I would take the opportunity to teach him some manners and introduce the ASL sign for PLEASE (which is a circle motion on the chest). It just seems nicer if he says PLEASE before he rips it out of my hand mid-stroke.

To my surprise and delight, he picked up the sign immediately. But he only seemed to be using it in the context of drawing, when he wanted my crayons. So I made an effort to include PLEASE at mealtime too. Sure enough, he started to ask for things and then include a little chest rub. WATER, PLEASE. So I patted myself on the back, told him how wonderful his manners were and how brilliant he is - I was all self-congratulatory. That is until he started saying "PLEASE, I want more burrito." The mushy, messy, cheesy, bean burrito that I'm eating with my hands. "PLEASE, more avocado." The mushy, stainy, green avocado that I'm eating with my hands. 

So he proudly rubs that little circle on his chest while grinding the food into his shirt (he'd rather go hungry than wear a bib) at just about every meal now. And he eats a lot of beans and a lot of avocado. I've created a shirt staining well mannered monster. Yeah, great idea.

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First Art : Art Experiences for Toddlers and TwosBUY:  You can get your own fancy-pants Stockmar Beeswax Crayons here at Amazon.

CHECK OUT: Doesn't First Art : Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos look interesting? I want it!

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