This may be the plight of millions of concerned and well intentioned mothers everywhere, teaching their children and freaking out when they don't 'learn'. Leo is 13 months old and if you ask my mother, he has to be one of the smartest babies to have ever lived. I, however, am very concerned about this child's development. Why? He won't say 'please'. Now before eyes are rolled at my first-time-mother over reacting response let me fully explain the situation.
** I am now going to explain my life like there is someone out there who is reading this that does not now this information already, mostly because I want to keep up my personal delusion that there is indeed someone who is reading this that has stumbled upon my humble blog and is reading it because they find it interesting, or witty, or pathetic, or whatever**
Daniel, my dearly beloved is Deaf. Yes he can kinda sorta read lips, but he uses sign language, and that is how we communicate with each other, and that is how our child(ren) will. Now i know there is this huge 'baby signing' movement happening all over. And I think it is great! Teach your child language so they can express themselves and you don't have to go crazy trying to figure out what they want when they point to that cupboard up there (cookies, cracker, peanut butter, tuna??? what do you want!!!). With that being said, teaching Leo how to sign is less about 'baby signing' and more about him learning language to communicate with his dad. Leo's first word? Phone (lets be clear, I do not talk on the phone that much), second word 'daddy', and words that followed were 'more', 'stinky', 'eat' and 'nice' (as in, nice hands, we don't hit mom or her glasses so they fly off her face). Seeing Leo say all these words was very exciting, and it still is when he learns a new word. Now being a mom, and in my infinite mom wisdom (note: heavy sarcasm), I thought a good word to teach him next would be 'please' (think rubbing a flat hand in a small circle on your chest). 'Please' encompasses so many things that he cannot yet sign but he wants everyday. You want to be picked up? Say 'please'! You want a bite of my food from my bowl? Say 'please'. You want me to do x, y or z? Say 'please'. What a wonderful word it is! Will he sign it? No. All I ask is for one little pat on his chest, just an acknowledgment that my two weeks worth of on going effort is not all for naught. But validation is not something he is willing to give me easily.
Now rationally I know there is nothing wrong with him for not saying 'please'. That is also the same rational part of me that knows that even thought we won't say or sign 'mommy' that does not mean he loves me any less (or that he loves daddy more because he will say 'daddy'). I do, however, feel like, this is some sort pre-meditated baby manipulation just to let me know, not everything will be easy (as if I needed that reminder). Okay, I do not really think that. But I do think, every time he refuses to say please, 'seriously child? saying please is not that hard'.
By the way, this is my SECOND post today. And yes that is both a miracle and a new personal record.