Nik’s been eating me out of house and home. Seriously. Every time I turn around the child wants to eat more, more, more. Enough so that he’s actually voiced the word “moh” quite vociferously to make it clear that he’s not had his fill!
Our routine goes something like this:
ME: Nik if you want more, you need to use your words to tell Mama. Can you say “More please, Mama?”
NIK: Grudgingly signs “more, Mama, more, yes.”
ME: Nik, use your nice words, please.
NIK: Grudgingly signs “please, more.”
ME: Thank you! Here you go. Here’s more.
Sometimes, when I know Nik knows the sign for a specific food, I’ll ask him to show me that sign, too. “Show Mama ‘More banana, please,’ Nik.” Nik usually humors me and shows me the sign.
Tonight’s menu included something sort of new for Nik —dried green beans. He’s had them a time or two in feeding therapy and seemed to enjoy them so I thought I’d add some to his dinner plate and how they went over.
As dinner progressed, Nik kept pointing to his forehead and signing more. I was, frankly, baffled. “No, sweetie, that’s how you say Papa,”I said as I offered Nik another bite of his peanut butter sandwich. He graciously took the bite and pointed to his head again. “Papa is right here,”I said as I pointed to Niksdad. I offered Nik a bite of applesauce which he pushed away impatiently. “Okay, do you want a green bean?” I asked as I signed bean. Nik nodded his little fist —the sign for “yes”— and gobbled up the crunchy, salty-sweet green bean.
This little dance went on for a while. Each time, Nik would look at his plate and point to his head. Apparently, Nik thought touching his head with one finger was the sign for bean. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out.
When the light bulb went on, I nearly fell off my chair laughing.
How many times each day has he heard one of us say “Oh, watch out for your bean, sweetie!” or “Don’t bonk your bean on the door, honey!” and other such colloquialisms? Apparently, enough that it made perfect sense to touch his “bean” in order to tell me that was what he wanted to eat.