Light Notes: Oh no! If only we'd have had the instruction manual

Lucy Luginbill, Tri-City Herald on

Published in Religious News

This story goes back a ways when we were travelers held hostage and no one could speak the language.

The tyrants spewed words at us like "goggin," "oohoo" and "nummies." The only vocabulary my husband, Bill, and I recognized was "Gwamma Wuzy" and "Poppa." Back then we knew it was going to be a long week alone with twin toddlers.

Naturally, there were some moments of understanding, although few and far between. For instance, when we drove past the golden arches and two voices from the backseat chorused "Ee-ai-ee-ai-oh!" we had a hunch that it had something to do with stopping for chicken nuggets. Or the moment they clasped their hands and bowed their heads, no one had to guess at the feelings behind garbled words that preceded an enthusiastic "amen."

But our greatest challenge was the day we tried to open a can of soup for lunch. Now at our house, this is simple. You take the container of chicken noodle and place it in the grip of the electric can opener.

But at their house we had a problem. Where was this common appliance that we assumed was in every typical household? After searching high and low, we finally asked Hunter and Hailey.

Yes, they could point to the drawer where the can opener was hidden inside. And yes, we could see that it had to be operated by hand even though we live in the 21st century. But we'd never seen one that looked quite like this gadget.


How on earth did this newfangled thing work?

Well, the 3-foot-tall geniuses thought they knew. So they proceeded to babble instructions in their unintelligible "twin talk," each adding their two cents ... louder and louder when Grandma and Grandpa couldn't get it right.

Amid their shrieks, we tried every which way to make the thingamajig work; sideways, upside down, left-handed until we were sure it was time for "Ee-ai-ee-ai-oh!" With tears streaming down our faces from either hysteria ... or joy at the thought of eating out ... we realized that we weren't equipped to handle this by ourselves.

We were totally in the dark, confused and struggling to make sense of our situation.


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