As a child of immigrants I ended up bilingual pretty much by default. My parents are from Taiwan and China, so I grew up speaking Mandarin Chinese with them and speaking English with my older sister and at school. Although I dreaded going to Chinese School on Sundays as a child, by the time I left for college I recognized the benefits of being bilingual and I knew even then that I would want my future children to be the same.
Every time Lio signs for the dog, or puts two signs together — like “dog” and “water,” then points at the dog’s dish to indicate it’s time to complete his chore for the day — I just melt. Or when he signs “please” and “shoes,” then sits down so I can take his shoes off before hopping up to scuttle off to try on a pair of dad’s sneakers? That’s baby gold, right there.
We did baby sign language classes with Seattle’s Visually Speaking, and it was awesome! Here are my tips on what I did wrong signing with Tavi.