For many months, The Girlie has used the piece of baby sign-language for ‘bird’ (it looks like you’re pinching salt between you thumb and forefinger), which works as both a word and a directional aid. Some of the of the downsides of sign-language are that you actually have to maintain visual engagement with your child, and said child sort of loses the motivation to actually say “all done”, or “music”, or “help”, or “dog”. She’s communicating, sure, but its rather encoded (and so not as impressive to those who aren’t in the know…). As a result, we’re now trying to teach her to vocalize the word for ‘bird’, with varying results:
And she had plenty of practice today. For some unexplainable reason, the morning and afternoon were like a Hitchcock film in the front and back yard: birds on the roof, birds in the trees, birds in the grass, birds in the sprinkler, birds in the bushes, birds zooming around in tight formations through the air. All of them, completely nonplussed at the presence of interlopers like us. Which freaked out mom and dad a fair bit, but which was endlessly entertaining to The Girlie. I just hope she doesn’t get carpal tunnel syndrome from all of that ‘birding’.