Friday, October 12, 2012

Conversations about Work

Like any child, K is very interested in work but doesn't know exactly what it is. She just knows that she wants to do it when she grows up. I've noticed that as a concrete thinker, like most children probably, she thinks of it more as a specific location than an activity.

"Girls CAN go to work, Mommy, because I saw girls in Apo's work."
"Of course girls can go to work, sweetie, in fact most women go to work."
"But why do you not go to work?"
"You mean why don't I go to work in an office? I used to work in an office, actually, before you were born."
"But why don't you go any more?"
"If I went to an office to work every day, who would take care of you and Baby M?"
"I would take care of him. I would grow up really fast and then I could change his diaper."
"But then who would take care of YOU?"
"Apo! He could stay home and you could go to work."

Rejected! It's ok. Apo is her hero right now.

I let that part slide and we moved on to a discussion of what "translation" means. Before this she knew that I work on my computer and sometimes write e-mails or take calls from clients, but she didn't know what my work actually entails.

I explained that translation is a special kind of job that not everyone can do, because you have to speak more than one language very well and use your "think", as she calls it, to take things in one language and write the same ideas in another. I also explained that "interpreting" is another job where you do the same thing for people who are talking out loud - what she does sometimes for people who don't speak both Czech and English, grown-ups get paid for that. She was impressed. "Yes! That's what I want to do!"

Recently I asked her:

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"A worker."
"What kind of worker?"
"You know, whatever Apo does, so I can work in his office with him."

She means it, too - when we visited his office she saw an empty desk and insisted that they save it for her when she grows up and starts working there. She was very upset at the idea that a number of people might go through the hiring process and sit in that chair before she is old enough to take her spot. She wants THAT desk.

She goes back and forth between that and wanting to stay home, carry her babies (all named Zoe) in a wrap, drink coffee and work on her computer. I think it's clear who her two role models are.

1 comment:

  1. This is so funny, because my almost 5-year old told me the same thing: that when he grows up he will work with a computer and go work with me <3. Like K, my C is not very worried about what work is, but where it takes place, and the fact that it is done with a computer.



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