Language Barriers Redux

The Gremlin has had his share of cross-cultural encounters, however throughout his travels he had never left anyone baffled – at least until a few weeks ago.

While the Gremlin was on the Best Vacation Ever, he found that he highly enjoyed traveling on the elevator and pushing the buttons for the other people staying in the hotel.

Since then, he has been adamant about pushing both the buttons to call the elevator and then again to go to a specific floor. This is usually received with mild amusement when it’s noticed at all. When it isn’t noticed and the Gremlin gets upset, he’s usually able to push the buttons once he gets inside the elevator.

One fateful trip to Target, however, there was a well-dressed Korean family that either had few or no English-speaking members present at the time. They beat the Gremlin to the ‘push’ and called the elevator. The Gremlin began his regular wail and stomp, but calmed down after he was assured he would be able to push the button for the floor.

The Koreans, however, were oblivious, and discussing amongst themselves. The double-wide elevator came, and the Korean family stepped forward as they were in front just as the Gremlin ran inside. Unfortunately, they were still closer to the buttons than he was and managed to push the button for the floor faster than he did.

This caused the pent-up meltdown to burst forth, and the Gremlin began yelling. The unfortunate mother of the family who had pushed the button was horrified, as the Gremlin ran up after her to push the button again, and then yell more.

We have been working with him to ‘use his words’ more and more, yet this seemed to be the one case that the Gremlin explaining to the woman why he was upset did not help anything. The Koreans began speaking in very hushed tones that grew more and more agitated. Meanwhile, the lack of response was only upsetting the Gremlin more, and he was now screaming.

The situation got so out of control that the Mother of the Gremlin decided to remove the Gremlin from the situation. She ushered him off the elevator, and the distraught family – confused from all the yelling – followed. Once the elevators had closed, the family had decided to try again, and did the unthinkable sin.

They pushed the button again.

The doors re-opened to the Gremlin in full-on tantrum mode, screaming hysterically at the doors and elevator call button.

Amidst much hushed conversation, the Korean family decided to take the stairs.

Favorite Toy of the Week: Lego Space Police

The Gremlin reading to his Brother