“Starting when their son was 3, psychologist Tammy Hughes and her school psychologist husband started teaching him. At night, they’d say, “Tell me three good things that happened to you today.” This helped him make the distinction between events and his feelings about them. Once he had that mastered, they added, “Tell me three good things that happened to someone else (lesson: the world includes me and other people, their feelings and actions).” Next they asked, “Tell me something you did that worked out well. Now, tell me something that someone else did that worked out well for someone else.” “These simple questions help children differentiate themselves and others, and (teach them) cause and effect. If you can connect these ideas and feelings, then it helps children to prepare to identify bullying — negative versus positive behaviors — and who did what to cause the outcome””—Bully Proofing your Kids (via librarianpirate)
We’ve gotten to the point now that the Beans are learning new signs kind of all the time. They don’t yet use all their signs in context (they don’t yet say “thank you” in response to being given something, for example) but they can replicate the signs when they hear the words or see an object and use many of them accurately.
This isn’t necessarily a complete list because Ondiru and Apatosaurus may have noticed other things or uses, but as far as I’ve been keeping track, both Beans know airplane, apple, banana, bath, bird/duck, boat, brush teeth, car/truck (this one gets used a lot), cheese, juice, fish, monkey, elephant, dog, eat (which we also use for hungry), father, finished/all done, help, lights on/off, milk, more, please, poop, tv (actually the sign for movie), and water. They both have a vague sign for tree, but it seems intentional.
Wembley knows butterfly, flower, hear, hurt, moon, rain, shoes, telephone, and thank you. He also uses the sign for airplane for flying insects and helicopters. He sometimes signs car for train and points up for sun.
Mokey knows bed (which we use interchangeably for sleep and sleepy), cookie, and lion. She also may have said thank you, we’re not sure.
Wembley signed baby today in the proper context and I don’t even think we’ve ever shown him that sign. He also invented a sign for drums that he used when he saw some in a catalog this morning. Lyn signed house to them this morning so I imagine they might have that one too by tomorrow.
They blow kisses too, but usually right after someone has left.
Both Beans have been signing “Daddy” for a couple of weeks now. Wembley did it first and more often, but with a less articulate sign. Instead of holding his hand perpendicular to his face and and tapping his forehead with his thumb, he just uses his index finger to point to the top of his head or right above his ear. It took us a little while to figure out he was signing “Daddy” consistently, but with context clues, we figured out that he is. Mokey does the sign less frequently but more accurately.
So today I figured out for the first time that both babies are actually signing “Daddy” for each of their three parents. Whenever we say “Mama” or “Eema” we do the sign for “Mommy,” which is the same as “Daddy,” only tapping one’s chin instead of forehead. But they haven’t picked up that part, they just sign “Daddy” to mean each of us.
I can only assume the Beans are rejecting the implied hierarchy of gender and creating a common gender-equitable sign. Our babies are awesome.
As far as I’m concerned—at least in my life experience—there is literally nothing better in the world than having twins. (More specifically our twins, yes). Furthermore, I know that most parents have a thing where they feel inadequate for one reason or another, at least occasionally. And I would do anything in the world for the Beans. [Is that enough caveating?]
I’m pretty practiced at feeling inadequate. I mean really, I have, like, an advanced degree in it. But still, trying to manage twins can make a grown me feel like an idiot with no skills in nothin. There are so many things I can easily imagine doing with one baby or toddler that are just impossible with two when I’m on my own. Going to the playground. Bathing them. Going to the science center/aquarium/etc.. Letting them explore around the house. Playing in the yard. Simple things that I feel like I should be able to do and am totally not able to do at all.
Take going outside for example. I try to be as laid back as I can. I’m not concerned about them getting dirty. I’m not going to go off the deep end if they eat a little dirt or trip and fall occasionally. Kids are going to do that stuff. No big. But they’re still quite little and prone to putting things in their mouths and things like acorns and wild mushrooms can actually kill them, so I have to be vigilant about some things. So while this moment was sweet, the very next second both of them put stuff in their mouths and I only have two arms. They just kept doing it. They’re curious (and possibly a little hungry) they can’t help themselves. We were in the yard for a total of about four minutes. I feel like there’s nowhere I can go with them alone where they can crawl/walk around and have a good time. It’s like there’s a whole big beautiful world out there and we’re just waiting for them to be old enough not to eat it.
They are at an age now where it would be common for us to take them on a couple of outings every day, but unless they’re strapped into the stroller or the wagon, I just can’t manage it. And once you add up all that time in the stroller, it hardly feels like an outing. So some days we just stay at home. Or go out to the grocery store for our big adventure.
I just feel like there must be a way to do it and I haven’t figured it out yet. Inadequate isn’t even a strong enough word.