I've been trying to do more interpreting for Connor in areas such as meetings, parties, doctor's appointments, performances, and conversations. I feel like he gets left out of a lot of things that could be learning opportunities for him, plus it's a good way to work on my interpreting skills. The problem is that I'm still pretty slow while signing, so I get way, way behind and have to paraphrase to catch up. I'm sure this probably drives Connor nuts, but the only way I'll get faster is to keep practicing, and we can't really just have an interpreter follow us around all day, so I'll keep doing it.
As a consequence, I've developed a list of pet peeves. Since Ellen over at To The Max has declared it Primal Scream day, I'll be sharing them with you. I know we're supposed to do it in all caps, but I can't bring myself to do it. Oh well. This isn't really a primal scream, anyway-- more like a list of whines.
PEOPLE WHO TALK REALLY REALLY FAST: I know it's in your nature, and you shouldn't have to slow down for me, but I'm still on your first sentence and you're already done talking and impatiently waiting for me to reply to you. Slow down a bit, for the love of God.
PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY DOCTORS, WHO USE REALLY REALLY BIG WORDS: Your sentence involved the words sphygmomanometer and photoplethysmograph, when you could have said blood pressure cuff and oxygen saturation levels. We all know you are really, really smart-- you made it through medical school, after all. But do you realize I have to finger spell all of these words? Do you realize I can't spell most of these words? It makes for really slow going.
PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEARDS: My son cannot lip read if you look like Santa Claus. I know there are lips in there somewhere and it is your personal style choice, but if you work with anyone who is having to lip read, shave.
PEOPLE WHO LOOK AT ME WHEN THEY ARE TALKING TO MY SON: Sure, I'm the one telling him what you said. But he's going to think that eye contact is not part of a conversation. If you want to ask him a question, ask him, not me. I'm going to start giving you his answer while looking at that potted plant over there.
PEOPLE WHO THINK I AM DEAF BECAUSE I AM SIGNING TO MY SON AND START TALKING ABOUT US TO EACH OTHER VERY LOUDLY IN THE GROCERY STORE: Yes, I can hear you. I am not Deaf. And yes, I can shop in the grocery store all by my very own little self, bless my little heart. Watch me start talking very loudly and signing to my son about how rude you are for saying those kinds of things about people when you think they can't hear you. Also about your weight problem.
Ahem. Rant over.