You know, you talk too much, my mother signed at me. She had that pissy expression she got when I forced her to lipread instead of making things easy for her.
I picked up my knife and fork and cut into my pancake. “Sorry, I didn’t understand you,” I said with my mouth full.
Her mouth turned into a thin line. Finish chewing first, she signed.
I smeared a piece of egg in syrup and chewed and swallowed to keep her waiting. “It’s not my fault you’re a deaf mute,” I said without moving my lower lip.
What? she signed. Use your hands, she signed.
“I can’t,” I complained. “I’m eating. You’re going to make me late.”
She stood up and rinsed her plate, throwing the dish rag into the sink a little too hard when she was done.
“What would you do if I was born without hands?” I said to her back. She stood there staring into the sink.
A moment later she turned around and silently held out the completed permission slip for the trip. I took it and hugged her.
Thanks, mom! I signed.