Many parents are very diligent with teaching their kids sign language from an early age. With Mittens, I did read (ok flip) through a few baby signing books, and tried to teach things like “milk”, but felt that it was too much motor skills involved (at least for “milk”) for an 8 month old. After that I went back to work, so I basically left it as it is. Then he started to say his first words at around 15 months, and now I can’t get him to stop talking – at night I even have to tell him, “No more talking!” at least 3 times before he’ll drift off to sleep.
With Abacus it’s been quite different. Although he is slowly starting to say some words, and definitely not as articulate as his older brother, the only signs he really knows is please and sorry. I probably could have taught him more, but I thought that with a chatterbox elder brother he wouldn’t have any problems.
Abacus is a really interesting character. And that is how I often describe him – full of character (that, and “fiesty” is definitely the word for him!). Despite not talking much, he has a myriad of facial expressions and grunts and other noises to get what he wants. I often say that he’s a man of few words. The paed thinks he’s trained us well to understand what he wants, and often it’s not difficult. He also comprehends all of our instructions, and it’s extremely cute to see Mittens talk to Abacus like a friend and Abacus responding with his various gestures.
Earlier this month he fell at home, on his head, and ended up with a Harry Potter scar (ok no lightning bolt, just one short cut), which had to be glued for it to heal well. I didn’t fret much because I’m (unfortunately?) getting used to such incidents, and the A&E. But we also know he is a brave, fearless boy, which might be in part how he got himself into all that trouble to begin with, and he’s gotten himself through a whole lot more. He might have a less conventional name, but in retrospect, it’s pretty apt to have a strong name for a brave boy.
This week he turned 2 years old, and, as with all children, he has really been such a blessing to us. He brings so so so much joy to our family (as does Mittens, of course) and there is no doubt that he’s an exceptionally lucky boy who has been blessed with Buddha ears (fat juicy ear lobes, obviously from my side of the family), and immensely good health considering that there was a real possibility that he could have not made it past his third day of life. Every day, he is testimony of God’s grace and the miracles of modern medicine.
Happy birthday to my brave little tiger.
P.s. If you or your organisation are looking for a charity to make a donation to, please consider the National University Hospital Patientcare Charity Fund. They have 60 programmes covering various medical needs, but of course the Kids’ Heart Fund is the closest to our hearts – it would be heart breaking (no pun intended) if any child loses the chance to live a full, active, meaningful and normal life simply because his family cannot afford treatment.