Have you ever tried to get work done while also keeping track of an adventuresome toddler? If so, you’d enjoy being a “fly on the wall” at our Baby Signs, Inc. staff meetings every Monday morning!
When Dr. Susan Goodwyn and I began the Baby Signs company back in 2003, we knew what kind of company we wanted it to be. We wanted to create the kind of atmosphere that would attract talented people who understood firsthand the magic of signing with babies and were as passionate about sharing the good news as we were.
What that has translated to over the years, because so many of our staff are young mothers, is a workplace that is “family friendly.” More specifically, it has meant making accommodations like the following:
- Enabling staff members who are mothers to work at home whenever possible;
- Allowing these mothers to leave the office temporarily to drop off or pick up children from school;
- Welcoming those same children into the office whenever necessary before and after school hours and during vacations;
- AND allowing new mothers to bring their babies to the office with them during the times they need to be there.
Indeed, each of these babies becomes so much a part of our Baby Signs® family that we can all operate as substitute “moms” in a pinch!
That brings me back to our current weekly staff meetings. The newest member of our Baby Signs® family is a truly amazing 12-month-old named Julia, the daughter of a Co-Director of the Baby Signs Institute and Early Childhood Education Specialist, Bonita Broughton. We’ve followed Julia’s progress since making her acquaintance via the very earliest sonogram photos and have been entertained by her at every staff meeting since the day she was born. Most recently we have been amazed at all the signs she knows. For example, one current favorite is “Please” which she uses at staff meetings when she sees anyone around the table eating something she things looks yummy!
Julia is now walking and life for her mother has gotten even more challenging. It’s amazing how Bonita manages to corral a squirming toddler -- keeping her from banging her head on the table or pulling on electrical cords—while never breaking stride during discussions. Most of us have “been there, done that” and, as a consequence, pitch in whenever necessary to keep Julia—and all the equipment—safe.
I’m posting a photo to go with this blog entry. I had trouble picking one because there are so cute ones! Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy having Julia with us to spice up our Mondays—and to remind us what Baby Signs is all about!
Happy Signing! (And don't forget to visit our Facebook page)
Linda Acredolo, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, the Baby Signs Program
Professor Emeritus, UC Davis