Wednesday, October 21, 2020

New Words We Need to Describe the Ridiculousness That Is Parenting

Soon after you give birth, adopt, or find a wicker basket on your doorstep containing a baby, you'll see that the English language is woefully inadequate to describe your life as a parent.

Parenting requires a bunch of new words to describe the ridiculousness that is raising a tiny human, and here are just a few of them that should be added to the dictionary immediately.

(Please keep this glossary in a safe place for your reference, which for most parents is a place they'll never again be able to find even though they sincerely believed they'd remember at the time.)

sass·tery  noun  What children mutter under their breath when a parent is done disciplining them.  I was almost out of the room when my son's sasstery reached my ears.

pe·dal·li·ance  noun  A delay caused by your child waiting until you're going out the door to inform you that his shoes are too small and/or have been lost for three days.  My son's pedalliance was upsetting, but unfortunately, not entirely out of character.

tween·o·ci·dal  adjective  How you feel when your 11-year-old rolls their eyes and says "I KNOW!" before you've even finished your sentence.  Rage-eating, rage-cleaning, or getting a puppy who can't talk back are a few ways parents deal with their tweenocidal feelings.

son de la mère  noun  When something comes out of your mouth your own mom would say. Origin: French; literally 'sound of the mother.'  The second I said "Just wait until your father gets home" I felt an overwhelming sense of son de la mère.

mac·ro·bib·li·o·pho·bi·a  noun  The deep-seated fear that your kid will pull out the long bedtime story to read.  My husband's severe macrobibliophobia was the reason for removing all the Dr. Seuss books from our toddler's bedroom.

re·fer·rupt  verb  When one of your kids butts in and attempts to correct or otherwise parent his/her siblings.  I'm the parent here, please stop referrupting your sister!

mi·si·o·logue  noun  Mentally cataloging your shortcomings as a mother, usually when you're supposed to be sleeping.  All the yelling I did today is sure to feature prominently in tonight's misiologue!

drudg·e·mo·ny  noun  The feeling you get when you're washing dishes and people keep walking by and putting dirty plates in the sink.  The drudgemony of it all is so strong, I could rinse these dishes with my tears.

gi·ga·sec  noun  The period of time, inversely proportional to how late you are, that it takes a small child to leave the house.  Macy is just zipping up her own jacket, be there in a gigasec!

dis·tro·per·i·ty  noun  Realizing you can't do fourth grade math.  Nothing increases your distroperity more than homeschooling your kid through a fractions unit.

kid·ver·sa·tion  noun  Conversation that keeps coming back to the children despite your best efforts to talk about literally anything else.  When you're married, date nights are mostly one long kidversation.

hy·per·spec·u·lance  noun  A grossly exaggerated watching behavior.  My daughter said "watch this" and I averted my eyes for .02 seconds, which fell short of her demand for hyperspeculance. 

pseu·do·com·pe·tence  noun  The appearance of having it all together, which is a complete and total lie.  From one mother to another, I'm as impressed at your pseudocompetence as you probably are at mine!

fil·tra·ture  noun  The belief that your funny-looking newborn is the most beautiful creature that ever existed.  Looking back at his baby pictures, our filtrature as new parents was pretty obvious.

gram·biv·il·a·tude  noun  When you're thankful for your parents' help babysitting but also frustrated that you'll have to retrain the kids because they're feral now.  When the kids came back from Grandma's overtired and high on sugar, a wave of grambivilatude washed over me.

trund·logged  adjective  Haggard from late-night trips to the store to buy supplies for school projects due the next day.  I always feel so trundlogged by the end of science fair season, I'm more over it than my kids are.

do·tir·a·cy  noun  Exhaustion-induced act of stupidity.  In my latest dotiracy, I emailed the principal about Mrs. Miller disciplining Maddie for saying "penis" in class and accidentally CC'd the entire school.

glit·ter·ine  adjective  Excessively sweet and over-the-top; describes the voice used by moms who are this close to losing it but desperately trying not to.  When my kids hear my glitterine voice, they have 5 minutes to start behaving before I drop them all off at the fire station.

o·le·cap·ti·phi·li·a  noun  The compulsion to sniff a baby's head.  Visiting my newborn niece, I suffered an intense bout of olecaptiphilia that didn't go away for hours.

pro·sol·i·fac·tion  noun  Looking forward to being alone after the kids' bedtime.  By 5 P.M., it's only sneaking chocolate chips from the pantry and prosolifaction keeping me going.  See also: parensomnia.

par·en·som·ni·a  noun  Being unwilling to go to sleep and forfeit your kid-free time, but also too tired to do anything particularly productive or enjoyable.  I've had parensomnia for so long, I look like a backup dancer from 'Thriller.'

dis·sum·bled  adjective  Disorientation caused by the first day of school after the kids have been crawling on your head every day of summer vacation.  With no one barging in on me in the bathroom for the first time in three months, September had me feeling pretty dissumbled.

eu·phor·i·fused  adjective  Puzzled and overjoyed at seeing a freshly replaced toilet paper roll in the bathroom that you had nothing to do with.  She was so euphorifused she thought she'd accidentally walked into the neighbor's bathroom instead of her own!

re·nume  verb  Calculating how much sleep you'll get if you fall asleep right now... or now... or now.  My math has really improved from all the renuming I do every night.

zy·go·cly·sm  noun  The result of siblings who join forces to create a super-mess.  No baby book warns you about the zygoclysm three kids can produce during a 20-minute shower.

ger·i·a·tray·al  noun  Realizing your teen heartthrobs look like grandpas now.  Seeing Luke Perry on the cover of AARP magazine was the ultimate geriatrayal.

suf·flight  noun  Something your child says or does that abruptly melts your heart when they've spent all day being exasperating.  Earlier today I was looking into the rules about selling children on Facebook Marketplace, but that sufflight changed my mind.

leth·id·ness  noun  The special dread reserved for parents visiting a port-a-potty with a young child who touches everything with wild abandon.  Preschooler in hand, I approached the biffy at the park with lethidness.

sen·si·bi·ate  verb  To envy another parent's practical items.  I once swore I'd never drive a minivan, and now I'm sensibiating over ones with more cargo space than mine.

night·ghast  noun  When you wake up at 2 A.M. and your kid is standing at your bedside staring at you.  A nightghast from my kindergartner has everything from the 'Halloween' franchise except a hockey mask.

con·flear  verb  To make accidental eye contact with a child.  The baby was almost asleep and then I confleared and broke the spell.

quest·il·it·y  noun  Infinite love for someone coupled with the need to hide from them in the moment.  No one's questility is greater than the parent of a 3-year-old who won't stop asking 'why.'

re·cip·ro·quence  noun  A punishment that is more painful for the parent than for the child.  Reciproquences like revoked screen time privileges are often given out by the parent who won't be around to deal with the fallout the next day.

sup·peal  verb  When your kid calls a sibling to dinner by standing right where they are and yelling the sibling's name right next to your ear.  I can suppeal as well as you can, so that's not what I meant by "go get your brother for dinner!"

so·lode  noun  A solo bathroom trip. As a stay-at-home mom, a solode every once in a while is like a vacation in the freaking Bahamas.

cog·ni·pe·di·a  noun  The feeling that you left a kid behind. We left in such a hurry no one noticed Claire wasn't with us, but we didn't get far before my cognipedia kicked in.

dis·rup·tar·ious  adjective  Causing concealed laughter; of or pertaining to child behavior that is bad but also hilarious.  It was disruptarious when Jackson looked at his elephant coloring page and told the preschool teacher he "didn't have time for this *%&#."

tra·vail  noun  Not a made-up word, but a repurposed collective noun for a group of moms.  A travail of mothers arrived at book club, so excited to be out of the house without kids it hardly mattered that none of them had read the book.  See also: laundering (of mothers.) Colloquial: hot mess (of moms.)

Just like the Eskimo have 42 words for snow, parents need their own specialized vocabulary to describe their unique experience. I hope this glossary gives us a place to start that conversation. 

As your children grow, your patience dwindles, and you slowly become a mix of your parents and a more tired, broke version of yourself, I sincerely hope these new words come in handy.

Feel free to comment below with the parenting phenomenon you think needs its own word!

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Angela said...

For years, I have been looking for word that means both horrified and impressed. Such as when I taught my autistic son to ride a bike. I was proud of his accomplishment yet filled with dread that he might use his new skill against me. I haven't decided if that needs a separate word than the feeling you get when a child says something super offensive yet very clever. That one is similar to disruptarious, yet there is a subtle difference.

Katie said...

Hilarious! I’ve got a couple - how about a word for that phenomenon where if your baby/toddler falls asleep in the car for 10 minutes, it somehow wrecks any hope of a nap for the rest of the day (yet is clearly not enough to get them through until bedtime). Or how about the fatigue of having to remind multiple little people every day to change their underwear, and if you don’t it just never occurs to them.

Thanks for making me laugh today!

PurpleSlob said...

Aha!! I wondered what this was called!!
o·le·cap·ti·phi·li·a I have an extremely severe case!! I have approached mothers in Wal-mart, and asked to! Surprisingly, some have even said yes!! I'm a broken down old grandma now, with half white hair. I guess they can tell I don't want to take the baby- all I want is to sniff ALL the gorgeousness off its head!! lol
Thanks, and yes! We must immediately submit these to Webster's!!

Ellen said...

I love the one about the toilet paper roll. It seems similar to the feeling of seeing a dried up cheese stick under the couch and ignoring it for a week and not caring