My husband and I have a good relationship, but we’re not one of those couples who can read each other’s minds. I’ve heard of couples who can just glance at each other and know what the other wants them to do, and that would be nice, wouldn’t it? But in my marriage, it’s just not a reality.
Right now, we’re working on one aspect of our communication, which is sacrament meeting sign language. We’re like most families—he sits on one end of the row to keep children from escaping out that end, I sit on the other end for the same reason, and the children are in the middle. This only works to keep the children from escaping. It totally ruins any chances we have of communicating with each other. Hence, the need for sign language.
We’ve tried reading lips. No dice. I wanted him to hand me the diaper bag so I could get out some crayons for the three-year-old. All he got was “diaper,” and he took the child in question out to change him. I’m sure he needed it, but the message didn’t quite make it. Another time, I asked him to hand me a diaper, and he interpreted it as “take the child out for a drink.” Yeah, we’re not good at lip-reading.
The first word we’ve decided to incorporate into our new system of sign language is “diaper,” as that seems to be one of the most-needed words in our vocabulary. But now we run into another glitch—my husband thinks that holding two hands together and making an alligator out of them will convey the word “diaper” to me. Well, I’m sorry, but that’s an alligator. Everyone knows that’s an alligator. While it’s true that a diaper does indeed open and close like that, I just can’t see that particular gesture going down in the official sacrament meeting sign language book. We’re going to have to keep negotiating that one.
However, “bottle” was fairly easy to agree on. Make a fist, stick out your thumb and pinky in the “hang loose” sign, and pretend to be a beer-guzzling tippler. Okay, so it’s not necessarily church-appropriate, but I think we can all agree that this gesture means drinking, and that, of course, translates into bottle.
This will be a long process, I’m sure. But we’re going to keep working on it until we can successfully communicate with each other. After all, I don’t soon want to repeat the day when someone behind us had to relay to my husband what I was trying to say because he just didn’t get it.