Waiting Week: Lost in Translation


My kids are always seeking validation.

I don’t hold it against them, though, because I’m always seeking validation, too. Usually from my wife. Right, honey? Right?

But when my secondborn was about two years old, I would essentially have to play a guessing game with her to figure out the exact form of validation she was looking for. She would tell me something over and over and over, while I searched for the exact word combination to let her know I understood what she was telling me. Sometimes it took forever.

“Yes! Yes, I see! I see you! Yes, I see you! I see what you’re doing! Yes, I see what you’re doing! Yes, I do see you!”

It was like playing an old text-based game where I knew what I wanted; I just couldn’t figure out how the programmer worded it:

“Get box.”

I don’t know how to do that.

“Pick up box.”

I don’t know how to do that.

“Acquire box.”

I don’t know how to do that.

“Get locked box.”

I don’t see a “locked box” in this room.

It was frustrating as a kid with a Commodore 64, and it’s frustrating now as an adult with three children. And it doesn’t at all call to mind my own preoccupation with words and precision in using them when my wife and I fight. Right, readers? Right? Right?


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