Ruth Habibi is 31 and lives in the Preston Park area of Brighton with her husband and one year old son. She has recently started up TinyTalk Baby Signing classes in Brighton and Hove. Signing with her son she discovered the benefits of him being able to communicate at such a young age, both in terms of knowing what her son wants but also more broadly in opening a window onto how he sees the world. Having had such a wonderful experience with it, she is very excited to have the opportunity to share the wonderful world of baby signing with other parents and carers in Brighton.
Tell us about your kids?
I have one son, Noah, who is almost 17 months old. Right now he loves going to the park to see the dogs and the squirrels and is mad for bubbles!
Tell us about your partner/ family/ support network?
My husband is Moroccan and we met in 2002 while volunteering together on a conservation project in southern Morocco. We got married in 2004 but only had our son in 2012 as we wanted to travel the world first! Being a bilingual family we have found signing with Noah is not only great because he can tell us what he wants and thinks, but also because it works as a great bridge between the two languages as we can associate the same sign with the word in each language which seems to help Noah to understand.
Are you Brighton born and bred?
No, I grew up in South West London but moved to Brighton to go to Sussex university in 2001. In 2009 my husband and I moved back to London for a few years but having had our son in 2012, we I decided that Brighton was a much nicer place to bring up children and we moved back here in September 2013.
What’s the best thing about being a parent in the city?
There is so much to do for families in Brighton. Plus it has all the advantages of being in the city while being by and the sea and within easy reach of the countryside too.
Tell us about your favourite place in Brighton & Hove city?
Really difficult to say but I think I will go with the Duke of York’s Picture House for its uniqueness. I don’t get to go as often as I would like especially post baby, but I love the building and the feel of the place and over the years have seen a bunch of great films there as well as live music and sing-along Rocky Horror Picture Show!
What’s your favourite Brighton memory?
I think it would have to be when my husband and I had a ‘stay-cation’ back in 2008. We didn’t have much money to go away so decided we’d try out the new fad. We switched off our phones and the TV and took a week out of our normal lives. We did all the touristy things that we never normally got round to doing like visiting the Pavillion and the Sealife Centre. One day there was a French farmer’s market outside Churchill Square so we bought bread and cheese and cider and took it up to Devil’s Dyke and had a lovely picnic. Great fun!
What do you love doing in your spare time?
I’m a little bit addicted to knitting and crochet as I find it very relaxing and love how a simple ball of wool can turn into a lovely jumper or a cute cuddly toy just by being knotted around a couple of sticks! I also love singing and used to sing in choirs although haven’t found time to join one since having my son. But that is definitely on my to do list!
Tell us about your business or work?
In January I started running TinyTalk baby signing classes in Brighton and Hove. TinyTalk classes are focussed on encouraging and enabling early communication long before little ones are able to talk. We use British Sign Language signs which are relevant for babies and teach them through music, singing well known nursery rhymes and children’s songs, and through signing along to story books. Classes also involve playing with musical instruments and sensory activities that help to develop the skills needed for early communication. Each class is an hour long with the first half for learning the signs and the second half for social time where the babies play with toys while the grown-ups get to have a chat over a hot drink and some biscuits.
I am currently running two classes a week, one in Patcham on Monday mornings and one in Hove on Tuesday mornings. More details can be found on the website.
Where can we find you?
Facebook page: TinyTalk Brighton & Hove
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