From contributing writer Ann Croft, whose skills at interpreting baby dance are legendary.
Like many new parents, we are teaching our child to use sign language to communicate with us. And, like many new babies, our daughter is teaching us her own version of that sign language so that we can better understand her needs and desires (which, by the way, are one and the same to her).
The best example of this is her sign for pancakes. Actually, it’s not a sign so much as it is an interpretive dance.
It seems when I first gave her a pancake, I acted out this elaborate pantomime that included shaking my head from side to side while blowing on the pancake and saying the word “hot” over and over.
Can you now guess what my child does EVERY time she wants a pancake?
And this kid wants pancakes all the time. My husband makes large batches of toddler-sized oval pancakes a few times a month and freezes them in zip lock bags. He makes blueberry and oatmeal ones for her breakfast and sweet potato ones for dinner. I’ve included the recipe for the sweet potato pancake below. The blueberry oatmeal is something that he throws together with Bisquick, blueberries and rolled oats.
But, before you worry that my child’s diet is as limited as her vocabulary (she says both hi and hot). Let me assure you she eats many things, but none so enthusiastically as her pancakes. And, if her violent head-shaking, near hyper-ventilating blowing and repetition of “HOT” over and over don’t get her that much-needed pancake fast enough – well, our little Einstein will go through the litany of signs (More? Eat? Bird? Hat?) until a pancake is placed in her out reached hand and she begins cramming it into her mouth.
Maybe we should learn the sign for pancake?
Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe
1 T butter (melted)
½ C Cooked Sweet Potatoes (mashed)
1/3 C Flour
½ t baking powder
¼ C milk
Mix sweet potatoes with egg. Stir in flour and baking powder. Add the milk and the butter. Cook on a buttered skillet over medium heat.