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Friday, August 08, 2008

Finger Spelling: M - A -M - A

Ellie never stops surprising me. This morning is one of those times where she just makes me so happy I tear up. She has had a few rough days. We are in food trials again and the lamb one is not going to well. More on that for another post. Needless to say, she has an upset stomach and has been feeling poorly. Last night Dave was in and out of her room to comfort her. (I got to sleep having done it the last time).

Recently Ellie had figured out how to make the letter S with her left hand. We were sitting on the couch and she was obsessed with one of the Maisy (Lucy Cousins) books and she put her thumb on the letter S and then made the sign for S. Of course I was thrilled and heaped on the praise and excitement.

The ASL letter S is a closed fist with your thumb crossing the other fingers. And she figured out how to do this on her own. So I realized when she showed me this last week that maybe she would be able to do the other closed hand letters - like A and then T, M, and N. So I showed her those. She was so interested she even let me help her make the hand positions. Since then she has been practicing making A, T, M, N and S and we added B too. The first time she tried to make the B (which is an open hand with the thumb crossing the palm) she could not get her hand open so she used her other hand to pull her fingers up. Does that just want to make you cry!? I did. She tries so hard and is so tenacious.

So add B to the finger spelled letters she can do. Every night when we sit on the couch she wants to show the brunette princess on her princess blanket these signs. I hold up the blanket so she can see the princess's face and she makes the signs and the princess is always really impressed. (This is our way of dong imaginary play - lots more to describe here about how we got there - but in another post).

Anyway - so it's been an amazing thing with her initiating all this finger spelling.

This morning after the rough night I hear Dave and Ellie on the monitor. Ellie wants to sit up and Dave puts her on his lap and Ellie starts finger spelling. I hear Dave vocalizing the letters she is making as she does it. I don't know why we do that - we just do - we lend her our voices to reiterate that we understand what she is doing, reading, now finger spelling. And I hear Dave say, "M - A - M - A. You spelled Mama!!! Mama is going to be so happy! You're my little genius!"

Yep, he called it right. Mama is very happy. When I picked her up this morning, she finger spelled M-A-M-A first thing. Sigh. I can always count on Ellie to burst my heart open in the space of seconds.


Stacey said...

Oh come on. That might be the sweetest thing I've ever read.

Eliza said...

Awww...that is SO SWEET! Ellie's tenacity and eagerness to communicate and be heard is amazing, and what a gift from her to you to work that one out (I can just imagine her practicing on Dave to make sure she got it right, then proudly showing you!) and "surprise" you with it! Your daughter is AMAZING!

Kathryn said...

OMG Eliza- I didn't even think of that - that she was practicing on Dave! Wow - that is a revelation - and a good one - awe! I know she's my daughter but that is even more "break your heart" cute!!

Marie said...

I bet you are one proud mama, that post has me close to tears. Can't wait to see you all xxxx

Danielle said...

I second the comment that Ellie is seriously amazing. I still think it's almost impossible to understand how incredibly intelligent she is until you see her in real life. I was so freaking lucky.

Bird said...

I'm bursting over here as well. Do let us know about the imaginative play thing--I'm intrigued.

Jacqui said...


Anne said...

That is just fantastic . THe start of an explosion of expressive language via words and letters.
A writer , a wordsmith Ellie is. Anne

Jodi said...

How awesome is that???