When I became a mom I realized the hurt you can experience when the child you love is sick or injured. It breaks my heart every time one of my children are sick or hurt. I wish that I could take all of their pain on myself so that they didn’t have to experience any discomfort in their lives. I am not looking forward to the broken heart of my future teenage daughter but that is for another post!
It being Winter now we have been getting a lot of colds and sicknesses in our house. This week the sign for ‘hurt’ came back to my five year old daughter when she couldn’t talk because she was trying not to throw up and she quickly signed ‘hurt’ in front of her stomach. I knew, with just that one sign, that her stomach was sore and she wanted me to rub it. She couldn’t talk at that time and request a tummy rub or she would have lost her lunch. I was able to know what she wanted and gently comfort her by rubbing her belly. The ‘thank you’ look in her eyes made my heart break for her and made me even more thankful that I taught her sign language at an early age!
Some parents don’t feel the need to teach the sign ‘hurt’. They feel that their child will simply point at what is ‘ouchie’. I thought this too but was really glad that I showed her hurt anyway. The first time that the sign ‘hurt’ really came in useful was when my daughter was about 11 months old. My daughter loved going bare feet in the summer, she hated shoes. When the weather started to turn cold it was always a battle to have her put her shoes and socks on. One day I was running late and quickly getting her dressed to get out the door. It was October and rather cold out. I put her socks on and was trying to put her shoes on when she started crying and fighting me. I was so stressed and mad because I was now late and fighting with an 11 month old over shoes! I won the fight and got her shoe on. Just as I was putting her other shoe on she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and signed ‘hurt’ over her toe. She had been pointing and pulling at her shoe but I though she just didn’t want her shoe on. At that point I took her shoe and sock off only to find a tiny little rock caught in her toe. It was clearly hurting her and I would have had no idea if it wasn’t for one little sign! It was for that reason that I was grateful that I taught her the sign for ‘hurt’. I never would have imagined that 4 years later that little sign would have been remembered and utilized by a sick little girl.
Signing is useful in so many ways, you just never know!
Founder and President
My Smart Hands Inc, ‘educating young minds’