Buttercup has this horrible grunt-yell that she’s done pretty much since she was born, so I hardly notice it as special when she does it. I just tell her that it’s so prim and ladylike and laugh at her.
Meanwhile, I went to a baby sign language mini-class about 5 months ago or so, and occasionally I’ll try to teach her the few signs that I learned. I haven’t been very persistent with it, but there’s one sign that I’ve repeated more than any of the others.
Tonight, Frank was standing near the dog, who was splayed out on the ground. Buttercup was there, too, gently patting the dog on the head (read: using the dog as a drum and a climbing perch). Frank pulled Buttercup off the dog and kind of held her as she stood on her little baby feet. Then she caught sight of me in the kitchen and let out her ladylike grunt. I raised my eyebrows and looked at her and noticed she was clenching and unclenching her fists as she yelled at me. She looked like she really had something to say, so I said, “Is that so?” Again, she yelled, clenching and unclenching her little fists. Then it hit me.
“Buttercup, are you saying ‘milk’? Do you want milk??” The sign for milk is hilarious–you act like you’re milking a cow. And this is something I’ve done sporadically over the last several months. Ask her if she wants milk, act like I’m milking a cow. Repeat. I realized this was what she was doing clenching and releasing her fists. We had laughed a month or so ago when she started doing this, yelling while making little fists (the fist thing was new). We thought it was something to do with teething, which makes her a little crazy.
She looked so excited, grinning hugely and raising her arms in the air.
“Milk? You want milk?” She kept grinning and looking expectantly at me.
I picked her up and offered her the boob. Sure enough, she wanted to eat!
Now I just have to teach her to to that in public.