pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

Marek has been waking up at two o’clock in the morning for a while now, and since Stella wants to get him to sleep through the night, she tried to feed him at ten in the evening and wouldn’t feed him until at least four o’clock—so he’d often stay awake for an hour or so until he’d finally fall back asleep.

The other day, Stella said she thought that might be because of a growth spurt; she remembered from when Amy was small that whenever she had a developmental burst, that was preceded by a time of exceptional crankiness, though she’d only recognise such phases in retrospect when she saw the development.

What Marek can do now is turn around from his back onto his side: he’ll grab hold of his feet and then roll over onto his side. If you help him, he can also turn all the way around onto his tummy, but he can’t (yet) do it all the way by himself.


In related news, I try to use some sign language with Marek, and I’ve decided to use basically ASL for that. I got a trial membership at Signing Savvy and use the videos there to learn.

And Amy has taken to that like a fish to water; she’s really good at remembering signs I’ve showed her, even some time ago, and I’ve seen her use the occasional sign to me or to him, too. She seems to treat it as a game, but I still find it interesting.

I imagine she must have inherited my talent for languages.


For a project in kindergarten, all children were supposed to take some pictures: of their home, their favourite food, their family, that sort of thing. So Amy did, too, and they turned out surprisingly well considering that that was the first time she had held a camera in her hands.

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

Many years ago, I took a beginners’ course in German Sign Language at the Volkshochschule. (I dropped out after, I think, two semesters, because I was a bit frustrated with the pace of the course.)

Our instructor was deaf, but he could speak well and he could lip-read well, so we communicated with him by speaking.

Except for one smart-aleck show-off who would simply mouthe her words at him; he could understand her because when you’re lip-reading, you don’t care whether the vocal cords are vibrating or not, but everyone else was rather annoyed. (Hearing an exchange along the lines of “…” - “Yes, you’re right” isn’t very helpful to anyone else!).

pne: Dots representing "pne" in Braille. (brl)

I wonder how many native speakers of a sign language learn a second sign language. At a hunch, I’d imagine that fewer do than those who use a vocal language, if only because foreign languages are compulsory in many schools I know (which all use speech for instruction) but I don’t know whether the same is true for schools taught through the medium of sign language.

I also wonder what the situation is for readers of Braille: how many of them learn the Braille system of a foreign language. Here, I can much more easily imagine such a person learning a foreign (vocal) language at school, but I don’t know whether they would get taught the Brailly system used by native speakers of that language.

For example, would a German person learning English at school use German Braille to represent it, English Grade 1 Braille (which, I think, differs mostly only in a couple of punctuation marks from German basic Braille), or would they learn “proper” Grade 2 Braille (which, of course, has all sorts of different abbreviation rules compared to German contracted Braille)?

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

I've kind of decided to try to learn some basic ASL signs to use with babysign, since one of Stella's day-care children is 4 months and the other is 2 and just starting to speak... and since I'll be speaking English to both of them, ASL kind of makes more sense than DGS, especially since I won't be signing in complete sentences to them anyway (I expect) so it doesn't matter so much if I don't have a proper handle on the grammar. (Though that's a weak justification; based on what I speak to them, BSL would be even more appropriate, if anything. But ASL seems to have the best available Internet resources.)

So far, I've found SigningSavvy as a sign dictionary.

Amy can already recognise a few signs (at least eat, drink, cat, baby) I showed her.

I think I need a signing userpic; perhaps me fingerspelling my name or something. And I wonder whether to use "duck" as a namesign based on my Martin userpic, which I use nearly everywhere one can upload one's own avatar. (He's my Gravatar, for example, and I think also my Facebook profile picture.)

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pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)
Philip Newton

June 2015

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