When Kerry Spencer had her children, she decided to teach them to sign by using the American Sign Language program. Before her children could speak, she began teaching them to communicate their needs and wants by signing.
Many families use sign language at an early age for communicating with their babies. On average, many children don't use two to four-word sentences until 18 months to two years old.
One day, Kerry took her one-year-old son, Samuel, to Provo Town Center Mall in Provo, Utah to get his photograph taken with Santa. However, Kerry didn't anticipate her son to use his sign language skills to communicate with her that he was not enjoying his encounter with Santa.
Samuel signed "help." But she didn't see it until she saw the photo.
"I was standing to the side when the pic was taken and actually didn't see that he was signing for help until I saw the photo," Kerry told the Today Show.
While Samuel is 13 years old now, Kerry reshares this photo as their "favorite family tradition." This year, per the request of a friend, Kerry posted it on Twitter. It has been shared over 7,500 times.
Kerry, a professor at Stevenson University, is aware that Samuel's signing is slightly "mispronounced." "Strictly speaking, his thumb should be up, not sideways," she said. "Babies learning to sign often mispronounce words, but it is the sign he always made when he needed help."
"In baby sign, you go with what they do," Kerry wrote on Twitter. "We showed him the ASL version and this is what he did."
As Samuel grew up, he never became a fan of the big guy in the red suit. Kerry said that this photo was Samuel's last real interaction with Santa.
"Both of my children find the idea of Santa sort of sketch!" said Kerry. "They say, 'It's just not normal for one man to know so much!'"
In other news, a mother and child are saved after she mouths, "help me" to shoppers at a store. The rescue is incredible!