So maybe it IS what you think, but without the intent.
I just had to get this documented, so that years from now I can have proof that our daughter’s first method of “pointing” was with her middle finger. She (and her first date) will be so proud. Now some folks I know are going to say she got this from me. Though unless it’s genetic, I had nothing to do with it.
Unlike the swear words we haven’t yet eliminated from our vocabulary (though we do always follow them with “don’t remember that word”), I can honestly say I’ve never flipped anyone off in front of my daughter. I mean, we’re teaching her to SIGN, which by the way she’s getting good at, so a bird here/there might be a sign she could pick up way too easily – even if it she has no idea what it means.
Anyway, we’re careful about the fingers we use, though we haven’t corrected the middle finger pointing – it’s just too funny. As far as the rest of her signs go, she’s getting really good at “more”, “all done”, “hot”, and “horsey”, which isn’t a bad start. In fact, she’s learning the animal sounds for horse, dog, cat, cow, elephant, monkey and lion (which is interchangeable with tiger, leopard, etc as everyone knows). Also not a bad start. Oh, and she knows what beso and perro mean, too. My sister swears as soon as she officially starts talking she will never ever ever stop (which is true of most of us, though I don’t think that’s the way she means it).
We’re just hoping she’ll end up with more than ONE language, which, contrary to popular belief does NOT slow language learning or create language confusion (according to Scientific American Mind magazine). In FACT, based on their research, even just a second language increases a child’s overall cognitive ability. Imagine what 3 languages would do. Yes, I feel like a nerd right now (I actually bought the magazine in an airport and read the whole thing). I also found out that babies impact the brain development of their parents, too. Scary stuff.
Anyway, speaking of nerds, since both my husband and I qualify as “nerds” (remember, nerd doesn’t necessarily mean smart), I’m afraid our child is doomed. We don’t have any Parenthood Patty aspirations for Zoe, BUT we’re likely to spend more time at the California Science Center than Disneyland (sorry, Mickey). There are worse things ;)