I used to want to invent a sign system for the backs of cars. Something to communicate feelings of drivers to others on the road. I once made of list of the things you would be able to choose from with a single button click:
Oops, I didn’t see you there.
Totally my fault.
Please be careful, life is precious.
I’m so sorry!
I thought it would be great if the words could help translate fear and anger and uncertainty on the road into something more constructive. It would be tempting to add a ‘fuck off’ sign, of course, but I don’t think it would help much. We already have gestures for that and it could be argued that those gestures are used precisely because there was no sign to explain the blunder.
Now I’m finding myself wishing for a system like this to help my baby explain his inner meaning, to tell me what he needs, or warn me of something in advance. A baby memo system. Combining neurological signals, pain receptors, body temperature, blood sugar data, etc., the memo system could tell the parent things like:
I don’t like when you do that.
Could you feed me before changing my diaper?
My tummy hurts.
I think I am getting a cold.
I am overstimulated. Could we do something calming for a little while?
I can feel a toothache coming on. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to plan on hosting that surprise party tomorrow.
I will wake up at 10:00PM tonight. I know it’s earlier than usual but I don’t think I ate enough although I don’t appear to be hungry just yet. My apologies. See you soon.
I guess the time predictions will take some pretty complex algorithms but I wonder if the other ones would be simple enough? Of course, as time goes on, some of these signals my baby has invented in his own way and though some remain a mystery many others I have learned to understand. Slowly. Through a sometimes painful process of trial and error on both our parts. And this is as it should be. It’s beneficial to both of to spend the time together. We need to learn to understand each other and human beings are complex. It takes time. We have time. Sometimes an overwhelming lot of it.
But memos? Now of course, I wouldn’t want to strap anything on, especially nothing heavy. Wouldn’t want to hinder the freedom of movement or get in the way of physical development of any kind.
I guess I’ll have to wait for hologram bracelets.
3/14 – #SOL18