Is it too early to call genius?

I wasn't kidding before when I said that I spend a lot of my time feeding the Tiny Dark Lord, for lo, he is like unto a pit without bottom.

Have been showing him the "Eat/Food" sign for, oh, I dunno, about seven months now, and he is just barely doing a version of it back to me (sticking his finger in his mouth, which could also mean "my gums hurt and now your day is going to suck") Usually he just sees me do the sign and then chortles maniacally about how YES FOOD THE FOOD IS COMING YES FOOD NOW! So . . . at least I know he gets what I'm doing.

Because he's seen me doing this for months and months, you'd think the simplest way to inform me that he wants to eat would be to do the sign. But maybe he's a creative type, because these are the other ways in which he has recently announced his desire for sustenance.

1. Making smacking sounds with his mouth.
2. Opening the trash can, fishing out an empty jar of baby food, and taking it to GH.
3. Yelling at me when I take the tray off his high chair at the end of a meal, reaching out to grab the tray, and smacking it emphatically back down on his lap.
4. Going in the kitchen, finding his high-chair tray, and bringing it to GH.

The best, though, happened last week. GH and I were in the living room watching TV and the baby went into the kitchen. We heard him puttering around in the pots & pans cupboard, and then he came back into the living room carrying the small frying pan I use to make his eggs. He set the pan on the carpet in front of us and then I saw his hand go into his mouth.

Me: Dude. He's eating something, what does he have? (Hoping it's something like an old Cheerio but braced for it to be an earring or clod of dirt.)

As we watched, the Tiny Dark Lord reached into the empty frying pan, picked up imaginary food, and brought it to his mouth. Twice.

Us: Uhhhhh . . . is . . . is he telling us he wants eggs?

(Yeah, I'm sure TDL thinks we are the most moronic humans ever to be given a child, but come on. This is new to us. Communication that resembles charades rather than monkey shrieks is a whole new thing.)

GH: Well, we'd better make him some eggs so he knows we understood him.

He went into the kitchen and made a scrambled egg, which TDL devoured happily.

He is training us well.


emandtrev said... [reply]

Never too early! He can obviously back up his adorableness with smarts too.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

The sign for "more" is also very effective. And adorable.

Lady Susan said... [reply]

Finn does the sign for more when he wants food. We didn't intend it to be that way but....whatever.

I actually love the charade stage (which we are still currently in with some more words creeping in.) So much better than the incessant whining (although there is still that.)

Nemesis said... [reply]

Thank you! I hope you are going to do the Winter Challenge this year. Am fully prepared for you to bring your A-game and put the rest of us to shame, but I guess that's just the risk I take when I have such gorgeous friends . . .

Have also been teaching him the sign for "more." He won't do it back, but generally finds a way to let me know if he is down with the idea.

@Lady Susan
TDL uses the "milk" sign for pretty much everything. Fun times . . .

Sherry said... [reply]

My kids signs "more," but he thinks it means "Give me that thing that I want" rather than, "Mother, I liked that nutritious food you just fed me. Can I please have some more of it?"

We're working on it.

Anna B said... [reply]

that is totally awesome.

Shelbi Jia said... [reply]

This kid is darling. Must see him soon! Eight more days!

Anonymous said... [reply]

Just wait until he is two. You'll never have to wonder why every mother thinks their toddler is the most smartest genius baby in the world!

jeri said... [reply]

I never tried any signing with any of the kids because it seems like they develop their own ways of communicating far better than imitating a specific action. Getting the baby food jar out of the trash though... that is cause-and-effect genius!

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