Thumbs Down

For a year or so now, Chloe has used a “thumbs up” sign to indicate that things are good.  You ask her how she feels, and she will give you a thumbs up.  How’s your cereal?  Thumbs up!  Did you have a good day at school?  Thumbs up!

She has also used a “thumbs up” sign when she does a good job at something.  I’ve never noticed her give a thumbs up for someone else doing a good job, but she will oftentimes give herself a thumbs up.

I’d never even thought about the fact that I’d never seen her do a “thumbs down” sign.  I mean, I guess all of us use a thumbs up a whole lot more than we use a thumbs down so it makes sense.

But tonight after dinner Chloe was having some pudding.  She love, love, loves pudding.  And she love, love, loves our pudding routine.  We buy the pudding snack packs of pudding.  And in the package, the pudding packs are in groups of two, connected with a sort of “perforated” plastic that allows you to break the two puddings apart.  For a couple of years, it has been Chloe’s job — Chloe’s loved job — to BREAK! the puddings apart.  It is not unusual for her to give a thumbs up at the sound of the BREAK!  And for about a year or so, Chloe has started opening up the pudding pack, peeling back the foil top.  She can’t always do this job because some of those foil tops are really difficult to open up.  But when she succeeds at pulling back the foil top all the way, she bends her arm up, showing off her big, strong muscles.  It’s all part of our routine.

But as anyone who has eaten many pudding packs knows, sometimes it is messy to open the pudding packs – sometimes the pudding slops out.  And that’s exactly what happened tonight.  She pulled and yanked on that foil top until it finally gave way and peeled back with force, but when it did, chocolate pudding flopped and slopped onto the carpet and onto her lap.  She was displeased.  She stretched her neck tall and raised her eyebrows as her nose flared a little (just like her Daddy!).  And then with a stern look deep into my eyes she gave me a firm “thumbs down.”

My first reaction was to smile and even laugh at this new awesome communication from my nonverbal daughter.  It was so cute!  And so appropriate!

But instead, I helped interpret for her:  “That’s a bummer, isn’t it?  You didn’t like that at all.  That is messy, and it’s disappointing.  That’s a thumbs down.  Yuck!”

She gave me the slightest of nods as she wiped her messy hands on her pants.


2 responses to this post.

  1. This made me smile:-)


  2. Posted by Melissa Coco on April 25, 2011 at 2:26 PM



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