The baby signing books have arrived, and I have started to waggle my hands at Harry accordingly. He is taking absolutely not a blind bit of notice.

I surprised myself by recalling a few BSL signs from the early 1990s when I learnt a little. I found I could remember how to say ‘Wifey’ ‘I love you’, ‘Fuck off’, ‘I’ve had it up to here with you’ and, bizarrely, ‘My hamster died of a sore bottom’. Until I expand my repertoire, I feel any conversation I might start with a passing deaf person could only sink into dark places.

I am still looking for the signs that will enable me to say, clearly and simply, ‘shutup shutup shutUP you rotten little perisher you’ve screamed your tits off all bloody night and now it’s 4.30pm and you’ve been screaming in your cot for 30 sodding minutes and you still refuse to nap and you’re now the most odious little ragey person in the entire world’.

So far, I have figured out ‘shut up’ and ‘tits’.

ETA: Hubby has just volunteered the fact that one of his ex girlfriends could sign, and he learnt a few phrases off her for use in the pub. He has just signed ‘would you like to sit on my face?’

I repeat, we will not be engaging any deaf person in conversation. Realms of the dark… etc.

17 Responses

  1. Well perhaps you could try to carry on a conversation with each OTHER. Ahahahahaha! Love the Hairy Hubby’s contribution to BSL discourse. Too bad neither of you have much to say to the toddler as of yet…

  2. “My hamster died of a sore bottom.” Um, WHY? I must know why you learned that particular phrase. Is it much in demand?

    All that aside, keep up wthe good work. We use a lot of “all done” and “more” around here and Sam ignores us accordingly. Although I think he thinks “all done” means “washcloth to the face.” Which he hates. When we start the sign, he cries.

  3. I can do “Dirty lesbian videos confiscated by the police”. Be careful with the nationalities I don’t think political correctness ishigh in the signing world. (Chinese you can guess, German stroking ones upper lip to signify the mostache of a famous German, yes that one. Maybe they’ve been updated by now).

  4. This post makes me want to learn BSL…

  5. Suggestion is to pick only 3 signs at a time and wait until he starts to pick them up before you add more. You do have to keep on signing like a mad thing which starts to feel a bit odd. Also look out for partial gestures on his part which aren’t the right word but are getting there – it’s just like learning to speak – Pob says ‘da’ and I know she means dummy because she’s pointing to it, so I just say ‘yes, dummy’ and keep going. You need to do the same thing with the signs.

  6. I learnt that the sign for ‘Police’ was your hand held behind your head (signifying big tit of a helmet!), opening and closing, signifying a flashing light.

    I need to know what dirty lesbian is. I just do.

  7. I love the police helmet sign. I’m going to be using that one around here a lot. I doubt anyone at Villa Kore will pay any more attention to me signing than when I speak, but hey, nothing like change.

  8. Snigger….

    I thought learning how to sign ‘knickers’ was racy…



  9. You definitely don’t learn that good stuff from Justin on CBeeb.ies! Not sure how far Makaton differs from BSL but I found the few signs I persuaded my two to learn from that pretty useful.

  10. Hamster? Sore bottom? What an interesting story must underlie that one. (All I can say in German is “God is in my testicles,” but I have no memory of where or why I learned that one.)

    Flann has learned exactly two signs and refuses to learn others. “Milk” and “MORE” are apparently all he wishes to say in this life.

  11. Is He really? In your testicles?!

  12. I do recall that lesson was preceded by six or so pints, so it seemed plausible.

  13. PMSL at Hairy hubby’s contribution. It could be handy for a deaf swingers’ evening though…

  14. Whole post and comment thread had me screaming with laughter.

    Also, your hamster WHAT? I mean WHAT? How? No, please don’t tell me, it’ll haunt my dreams.

    I assume Harry will ignore all this for weeks, because it’ll take that long for him to twig that the sign MEANS something and isn’t just Mummy being amusing. Which means poor Mummy has to keep right on signing and talking and dancing up and down regardless of who ELSE is watching… ooh. Can I come and watch?

  15. Hope this is helpful for you and that Harry waggles back with aplomb very soon.

  16. Sadly, my hamster had passed away (almost certainly of passive smoking: I smoked heavily in the room it occupied at the time) after an unpleasant and extended episode of diarrhoea. I was obliged to explain this fact to a profoundly deaf chap who was fond of said rodent.

    Prosaic explanation, I know. Perhaps I should have made up something about Richard Gear. If you don’t know the rumour I mean… Google it. And prepare to recoil, horrified.

  17. I want to live in your household. Good lord, the times you must have.

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