Dear friends, readers and moms/dads,
Translation is hard work. It requires focus and dedication.
So what do you do if you have a young child you need to look after while translating?
Well, I guess you do find methods eventually all weaved into the way your day unfolds such as sleeping less, setting priorities, being fast, talking to no one, not ironing for a month, learning to shift attention from talking about Mickey Mouse to searching pharmaceutical terms and products and other difficult to define ways.
Which translates to.…trying to think creatively when all you need is to sit down and work.
But if you sometimes feel that you are running out of ways to keep your toddler busy while you translate (edit, write, design and so forth) I have something to share with you.
A newly found game which you can of course play when no work is involved…
It’s actually my 4 year old’s idea but it has proved to bring some interesting results of calm and co-operation.
It goes without saying that – depending on your kid and his/her age – it might be nearly to absolutely impossible to work while playing and to play while working but you never know. You might be able to get some work done. It also goes without saying that you need to be extremely vigilant, know exactly where your kid is and what he/she is doing (try to play this game in a big room with no access to a balcony). This game is perfect when not working on a difficult translation (or other project) which absolutely requires no distractions. This is for those easier projects which can be run smoothly by switching your attention from your laptop to your kid.
This game is also good for your kid’s development AND it helps you understand what are those things that your child absorbs and learns providing you ideas and inspiration for better development.
So what is this game?
- “You will be daddy and I will be mommy. This is our baby”, says my little one showing me one of the dolls.
A pretend play!
All you need to do is …play the part!
Your kid will pretend she is mommy accordingly and you will be pretending to be daddy. If you have a boy he can be daddy. I sometimes get to be the baby but try to avoid that (if you can) because “mommy” might feel absolutely free to avoid doing things that babies are supposed to do i.e. listen to their mom and close that fridge NOW.
Okay, during this game, where you play dad or someone else (you can be a train driver who needs to focus on driving or a princess writing a letter to the prince), your child is – hopefully – a lot less likely to do things babies do i.e. running up and down the house, jumping on the sofa, throwing clothes on the floor trying to get your attention.
The scope of this game is that your toddler will try emulate what adults do. I have seen my kid do some incredible things that really surprised me such as talking to the doll (acting as the “baby”) and tell her not to cry, not to climb on the table, to go to bed, to eat her food…. Wow! All those things the real mom keeps saying all day.
There are downsides to this game of course.
Namely, your little one might not be happy with the idea of you using the computer while playing but trying it out is worth it. You can do what your child says (since two “adults” are interacting this is a good thing as your kid is watching the right ways to behave) but only for a while. When things are calmer during the game, your kid might be absorbed in the game and you could find slots to open your laptop and work.
That’s it basically.
Please note that you might not get any results at first or the game might prove to be pointless and mentally consuming all together so a good idea is to try play this game while not working and see what happens.
And please don’t take my word for it. Trials and errors are part of the process.