Maybe it came from raising 3 daughters, maybe earlier from having 3 sisters, but my Dad is great at translating the language of Confused Daughter. Take last night:
Me: “Hey Dad! So I was driving and then I heard a beeping noise and I looked down and a weird light on my dashboard was on and it was by my temperature gauge and I looked and the engine temperature was all the way in red! So I pulled over.”
Translation: My engine is overheating.
Dad: “Where are you?”
Me: “Well, I left home and turned at Dustin’s – y’know, by the farm – and then was on that road and passed the place with the boats and now I’m on a stretch of isolated road. It looks kind of serial killerish.”
Translation: I have no idea. But I am not lost.
Dad: “Did you notice anything else odd while you were driving?”
Me: “No, it drove fine.”
Dad: “Is your heater on?”
Me: “It isn’t at the moment but OHMYGOSH I DID TURN IT ON RIGHT BEFORE THE LIGHT CAME ON AND THE BEEPING STARTED. DID THAT CAUSE THE PROBLEM?”
Translation: DID WE JUST DISCOVER THE PROBLEM?
Dad: “Probably not.”
Me: “Lots of cars on this road for how late it is…someone just pulled up behind me…go awayyyy…are they going to pass me? I hope they don’t get out and try to help. They’re going… No….? Ah, pulling up alongside…I’m good! Yup…go on along. Totally fine. On the phone. Already being helped. Okay. So what should I do now?”
Translation: Not talking to you at the moment, Dad, but stay on the phone anyway in case this person isn’t so nice.
Dad: “How about you turn around and come home?”
Me: “I can do that but I’m going to go straight first because this road has too many blind curves for me to comfortably turn around on in the dark. This might take a little bit. I see some driveways…maybe if I can find a road up ahead to turn around…And then I won’t go too fast in case the engine overheats again.”
Translation: It may take me a few extra minutes to get home but I’m coming.
And you know what? Through it all, my Dad just patiently talked me through what to look for and when to pull over. Because he’s awesome like that.