Monday, October 27, 2008

Sign language

I have nine million things I want to say about the election, but absolutely no time at the moment to post any of them. So here instead is a fun Peanut story from this weekend.

One of the amusing, if occasionally unsettling, things about having your kid in full-time day care is that it's really hard to keep up on all the things he or she might be learning there. This is unless you have time to demand that the teachers give you a full blow-by-blow at the end of every school day, which most of us don't. And I think the teachers get annoyed at the parents who ask for that much detail anyway. So thus it transpired that, without our knowing it, the Peanut has been learning sign language in school.

We discovered this a week or so ago during storytime right before we put her to bed, when she calmly raised her right hand and began making a bunch of signals neither of us recognized, because of course we don't know sign language. At the same time she recited the letters in her name, which has six letters, just like "Peanut." This amused us to no end.

Yesterday we were on the train heading into Boston, on our way to the always-awesome Boston Common playground. Mr. Fraulein sat down with the Peanut on his lap, right next to two elderly ladies. One of them gestured towards the Peanut and began talking excitedly to me. I couldn't understand a word she said, and it took me a minute to figure out that she was deaf. She and her friend began signing to each other. Finally the woman mouthed out a word I managed to catch--beautiful, she said, gesturing towards the Peanut again. And then she and her friend signed to each other some more.

"These ladies are using sign language, do you see that?" I told the Peanut. "Can you tell them your name?"

She nodded and held up her hand, methodically making the sign for each letter. The women beamed, and the Peanut beamed back at her new friends.

1 comment:

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