Say It

08/22/2008 By Shawn Burns

It’s been an explosion of signed and spoken vocabulary up in here recently. And really, I think Erin owes almost all of her education to Rachel, Alex, Leah, and Hopkins from Signing Time. It is not unusual for the following conversation to take place:

"Father, would you be so kind as to operate the remote control device and cause the television set to display that Show of Shows, Signing Time, so that I may gaze fondly and deeply into Alex’s wintry blue eyes and learn the signs for "napkin", "outside", and "love of my life forever"?"

"No, sweetie. We already watched Signing Time today. In fact, we watched it half an hour ago. How about some toys? Books? Are you hungry?"

"Sir, I believe you misunderstand me. I was not, in fact, making a request. And honestly, were you not so dense you would have seen that my frantic, insistent gestures belied my polite tone. You will operate the remote control device as directed, or I shall spend the next hour standing next to you trying to rip your left shift key off. Again."

"Here, kid. Do you want this Goldfish Cracker that I found on the floor? Go fetch."

"You are really quite exasperating. Please, do us both the kindness of not pretending that I am an idiot, or easily distracted by shiny crackers. I must visit with Alex immediately. I learned the sign for "prom" and I’m pretty sure that’s what he has been secretly signing to me during the "Down on Leah’s Farm" song. I must assure him that yes, I will be his date to the prom."

"Erin. Stop unplugging my computer. Daddy’s trying to blog. Ahhh, don’t send that Tweet! How did you find my file of bad novel ideas? Here. Watch some Signing Time and leave me alone for half an hour."

"I win."

I’m pretty sure the amount I write is in direct proportion to how much Signing Time she watches.

(Note: that file of bad novel ideas is no lie. It’s there on my hard drive. And it’s not just novels. There’s a cartoon strip. And an art exhibit. The crown jewel is the culinary murder mystery.)