Alice is thrilled with her new-found communication. She is an expert at creating the sign for "more" and "all done" but I'm beginning to have my doubts that she actually understands what these signs mean.
When she is eating, she uses these signs as one might expect. She can ask for more food and tell me when she is all done. In fact, these signs have been so effective at communicating what she desires that she has begun to use them all the time.
For example, yesterday she was trying to reach a book that was on top of the table. After a few minutes of grunting, she looked at me and made the sign for "more." Not exactly the correct usage, but I understood what she wanted and gave her the book. Later, I was cooking dinner while she followed me around on the floor trying to snag my leg so I would pick her up. After a few failed attempts, she shrieked and made the sign for "more" once again.
My brilliant little daughter has decided that the sign for "more" means simply "give me what I want. Now." "More" toys in the bath. "More" pick-me-up. "More" grabbing the cat.
One down side of this trick is that I am completely powerless to stop her when she looks at me with those beautiful blue eyes and politely asks for more. I am wrapped around her finger.
The other down side is that she has decided that all other signs are useless. If "more" will get her what she wants, why bother learning things like "milk", "tired", and "book." I faithfully make the sign for "milk" every time I nurse her, and she responds with "more." Clever kid.
Update: I am feeding Alice lunch and she demonstrated her latest difficulty with the "more" sign. Lunch consisted of peas and TJ's O's. The peas were scattered all over her tray and I was feeding her the O's faithfully as she requested them with the more sign. After a while she started to turn her head away from me as I tried to feed her the O's. A clear sign that she does not want anymore. As soon as I took the spoon away, she made the "more" sign. I tried to give her more with the same result. She looked at me frustrated making the more sign. I pointed to the peas on her tray and offered the O's once again. Then she stated shrieking and making the more sign. "What do you want more of?" Her little hands kept beting together for more. Then inspiration struck. She stuck her hands in the air and smiled while making the sign for all done. All these different signs can be confusing.