Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Miss Manners

Technically, I gave Peeper "credit" for signing both "please" and "thank you" a little more than a couple of weeks ago - before she turned eighteen months old - but in the past week or so, she's really started using them a lot, even spontaneously.

I'm pretty sure she thinks that "please" is a magic sign that makes us do whatever she wants (much like "more" was when she first started signing) because she will not only tack it onto a request, but will sometimes just sign it all by itself.

I'm trying to be careful, when she's signing or saying what she wants, to prompt her to sign please by saying "Goody, please" or "Outside, please" rather than just "Say please" - or, as I had gotten in the habit of saying when she was trying to pull my shirt up, "Sign it, please," - so that she doesn't think it's a substitute for all those other words and signs!

I have noticed that, more and more, she's pulling at my shirt and signing please, rather than signing "milk," so I'm trying to remember to say "Sign 'goody, please'" and waiting to see the "milk" sign.

She's also using "thank you" quite consistently when prompted - either "Tell the lady 'thank you'" or if we tell her "thank you," or even if she hears us tell someone else "thank you."

I think I've seen her spontaneously sign "thank you" a couple of times, but it's hard to be sure, because it's a pretty sloppy sign. (Well, most of them are, to be honest.)

The actual sign is a flat hand, touching the fingertips to the chin, and then moving down in an arc.

She skips the whole chin and arc thing, and just holds her arm and hand out in the ending position. It looks sort of like a one-handed shrug, or as if she expects you to put something in her hand. But we know what it means.

Please is supposed to be an open hand moving in a circle on the chest, but she just draws a line across her chest. Sometimes she does it with both hands at once.

I guess that means "pretty please, with sugar on top."


  1. Re: Peeptionary - In what context does she sign "cry?" I assume you are not lucky enough that she just signs it, rather than DOING it. ;)

  2. BabyB signs please drawing both hands directly across his chest at the same time. His thank you looks like he is blowing a kiss but stuck at his mouth. Funny how they do please the same.

  3. LadyKay - I taught her "cry" in the context of a "Baby Faces" book with a picture of a baby crying. We say "Saaaad Baby! Poooor Baby! Baby Crying!" and she signs it.

    Heidi - I think I've seen other kids sign "please" by drawing a line, too. That is funny about them both using two hands. (Well, she sometimes does.)

    And, between the two of them, they can do the entire "thank you" sign! :-)

    Oh, and Peeper also blows kisses, but rather violently - it's like she's smacking herself in the mouth!


What say you?