What’s your sign?

Our lovely little angel (*cough*) has recently started screaming to express his frustration and displeasure. He looks us in the eye and opens his mouth for a short, incredibly loud screech. Then he pauses and does it again. And again.

When he gets rambunctious with his banana and I have to step in to save the carpet, he throws himself back and lets out the most ear-piercing, infuriating scream you can possibly imagine. It takes every fibre of my being to stay calm and not scream back.

It’s horrendous, and I’ve had enough. He’s only been doing it to this extent for about a week, but I need to step in now for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

So, I’m finally going to try baby sign language.

I did look at it briefly months ago, but at that stage it seemed like a lot of work for my exhausted brain. Now that Devin is learning things at a ridiculous pace, though, it doesn’t feel as daunting.

He understands a lot of words. He just can’t say them yet. We can ask him to put dirty clothes in the basket, to choose a book, to bring something to Daddy (he’s not so great at bringing things to Mummy), to put his drink/dummy/biscuit on his shelf (we cleared the bottom shelves of a bookcase for him), to get his shoes. We can ask if he wants breakfast/lunch/dinner, if he wants a bath (always yes), if he’s ready to go, if he’d like a bottle…

We can ask him all those things, but he can’t really tell us what he wants, and I’m guessing that’s where the screaming comes in. I mean, he can stand at the kitchen barrier and stretch his hand out, but that could mean anything from ‘I want a biscuit’ to ‘I want to touch the hot plate’.

I’m really going to try, and I really hope it promotes some improvement in his behaviour.


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