I sign with my kid.
From the time he was this little
I would catch his attention, sign PLAY RUN, and jog his tiny feet in place.
Long before he could speak, I would sign it and his face would light up while he kicked his legs and cooed.
He quickly learned to sign it himself.
(as well as the cutest little backwards KITTY you ever saw)
Out in public, it forces him to stop and pay attention to the parental unit before dashing off into mischief.
See these things?
These pint-sized things bring out the wild child side of the kiddo.
Careening through the store and wiping out massive Cheetos and Pepsi displays are the norm when he gets behind the wheels of this baby.
(Not to mention the 14 bags of Oreos that magically appear in the cart when it’s time to pay)
The other day? Let’s just say that he was performing his usual maneuvers brilliantly whilst ignoring his Momma equally brilliantly.
Quick… name that song!
Anyway… he had already nearly taken out the town drunk at the knees, when he spun and narrowly missed a woman and her daughter as he ran crazily for the yogurt section.
You can imagine my virtuous patience and calmness as I ran after the out-of-control cart boy, snagged the speeding vehicle with one hand and began signing with the other hand (calmly, remember?) to the little lawbreaker.
STOP IT DUDE. THAT’S ENOUGH.
(insert stern Mommy face)
The aforementioned pedestrian stopped me.
You know it’s bad enough to be handling a meltdown in public, but when someone taps you on the shoulder and REMINDS you that you’re in public… gah.
Excuse me… is he special?
Special? Is he special?
And then… I had to keep from choking on my laughter.
Oh the irony. This poor woman had not noticed my “accent”, seen me signing, and assumed that my temporarily insane child was deaf. Or “special”.
Before I could answer, she said, “you were signing”.
“Yes Ma’am. I’m deaf and I sign with him”.
(awkward silence as she realizes she’s talking to a deaf person)
“I just wondered because my son is in a wheelchair and he has cerebral palsy and… well, he’s special”.
I smiled as I thought of our friends in wheelchairs. I smiled as I thought of my mother talking about how “special” I was growing up. And I smiled as I told her that I hoped our boys would become friends in school.
And to complete the Hallmark moment… my child launched himself onto the floor in a vociferous tantrum over something critical to his survival (the correct brand of string cheese, thankyouverymuch).
And the irony was not lost on me.
Yes Ma’am. He most assuredly is special.