This little girl is exactly a month younger than Peeper, but they are exactly the same gestational age.
The actually played fairly well “together,” although they did take toys away from each other, and pat each other’s heads and faces a bit roughly at times. No tears, though, so I consider that a success!
Or maybe she thinks she’s signing “baby” or “cat” or “breakable item?”
I use that word all the time, when she’s petting animals (or cousins) or well, doing anything that she should do gently.
I have, in the past, signed it, either myself or “onto” her.
(It’s a finger stroking the other arm gently. I usually stroke her arm, so she can feel what “gentle” should feel like.)
I don’t know that I’ve actually signed it very much recently, but a couple of days ago, she was petting the cats, and I was telling her to be gentle, and she started rubbing the back of one arm/hand with the other.
(Not gently at all.)
There are a lot of baby signers here at the conference, and when I’ve recounted that story, several different people have told me that their kids would use signs that they’d not seen in quite a while, too.
It is definitely a sign of some sort (whether or not she actually means “gentle”) because she’s done it repeatedly, and in exactly the same way.
She has used it “in reference to” other babies (lots and lots and lots of other babies here to see and sign about!), so I’m not exactly she what she means by that.
However, she also signed it when this little girl patted her on the head, or was checking out her hair or something. (And it was just a pat, she was not hitting her.)
Maybe she was just saying “Hey, there’s a baby!” but I like to think she was saying, “Hey, easy there, kid, that’s my head!”
She also signed it one time while I was in the middle of getting her in the wrap. Coincidence, or was she telling me that I was handling her too roughly?
(The last little part of the process does pretty much require snapping her legs off at the knee, then sticking them back on.)
This signing this is really taking off. I can’t wait to see what she learns next!