- AIRPLANE: What Mom impersonates to get a one-year-old to
eat strained beets.
- ALIEN: What Mom would suspect had invaded her house if she
spotted a child-sized creature cleaning up after itself.
- AMNESIA: Condition that enables a woman who has gone through
make love again.
- APPLE: Nutritious lunchtime dessert which children will trade
1. Dad, when he gets a cold.
2. Mom's youngest child, even if he's 42.
- BATHROOM: A room used by the entire family, believed by all
except Mom to be self-cleaning.
- BECAUSE: Mom's reasons for having kids do things which can't
be explained logically.
- CARPET: Expensive floor covering used to catch spills and clean
mud off shoes.
- CAR POOL: Complicated system of transportation where Mom
always winds up going the farthest with the biggest bunch of kids
who have had the most sugar.
- CHINA: Legendary nation reportedly populated by children who
love leftover vegetables.
1. Act of preparing food for consumption.
2. Mom's other name.
- COUCH POTATO: What Mom finds under the sofa cushions after
the kids eat dinner.
- DRINKING GLASS: Any carton or bottle left open in the fridge.
- DUMBWAITER: One who asks if the kids would care to order
- DUST: Insidious interloping particles of evil that turn a home
into a battle zone.
- DUST RAGS: See "DAD'S UNDERWEAR."
- EAR: A place where kids store dirt
- EAT: What kids do between meals, but not at them.
- EMPTY NEST: See "WISHFUL THINKING."
- ENERGY: Element of vitality kids always have an oversupply
of until asked to do something.
- "EXCUSE ME": One of Mom's favorite phrases, reportedly
used in past times by children.
- EYE: The highly susceptible optic organ which, according to Mom,
can be "put out" by anything from a suction-arrow to a
carelessly-handled butter knife.
- FABLE: A story told by a teenager arriving home after curfew.
- FAMILY PLANNING: The art of spacing your children the proper
apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster.
- FEEDBACK: The inevitable result when the baby doesn't
appreciate the strained carrots.
- FOOD: The response Mom usually gives in answer to the question
"What's for dinner tonight?" See "SARCASM."
1. A type of food.
2. How Hell will be the day Mom lets her daughter date an older
guy with a motorcycle.
- FULL NAME: What Mom calls her child when she's mad at him.
- GARBAGE: A collection of refuse items, the taking out of which
Mom assigns to a different family member each week, then winds
up doing herself.
- GENIUSES: Amazingly, all of Mom's kids.
- GRANDPARENTS: The people who think your children are wonderful
even though they're sure you're not raising them right.
- GUM: Adhesive for the hair.
- HAMPER: A wicker container with a lid, usually surrounded by,
but not containing, dirty clothing.
- HANDI-WIPES: Pants, shirtsleeves, drapes, etc.
- HANDS: Body appendages which must be scrubbed raw with
volcanic soap and sterilized in boiling water immediately prior
to consumption of the evening meal.
- HEARSAY: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a
- HINDSIGHT: What Mom experiences from changing too many
- HOMEMADE BREAD: An object of fiction like the Fountain of
Youth and the Golden Fleece.
- ICE: Cubes of frozen water which would be found in small plastic
tray if kids or husbands ever filled the darn things instead of
putting them back in the freezer empty.
- IMPREGNABLE: A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid.
- INDEPENDENT: How we want our children to be as long as they
do everything we say.
- INSIDE: That place that will suddenly look attractive to kids
once Mom has spent a minimum of half an hour getting them
ready to go outside.
- "I SAID SO": Reason enough, according to Mom.
- JACKPOT: When all the kids stay at friends' homes for the night.
- JEANS: Pants which, according to kids, are appropriate for just
about any occasion, including church and funerals.
- "JEEEEEEEEZ!": Slang for "Gee Mom, isn't there anything else
you can do to embarrass me in front of my friends?"
- JOY RIDE: Going somewhere without the kids.
- JUNK: Dad's stuff.
- KETCHUP: The sea of tomato-based goop kids use to drown the
dish that Mom spent hours cooking and years perfecting to get the
seasoning just right.
- KISS: Mom medicine.
- LAKE: Large body of water into which a kid will jump should his
friends do so.
- LEMONADE STAND: Complicated business venture where Mom
buys powdered mix, sugar, lemons, and paper cups, and sets up a
table, chairs, pitchers and ice for kids who sit there for three to
six minutes and net a profit of 15 cents.
- LIE: An "exaggeration" Mom uses to transform her child's papier-
mâché' volcano science project into a Nobel Prize-winning experiment
and a full-ride scholarship to Harvard.
- LOSERS: See "KIDS' FRIENDS"
- MAKEUP: Lipstick, eyeliner, blush, etc. which ironically make
look better while making her young daughter look "like a tramp."
- MAYBE: No.
- MILK: A healthful beverage which kids will gladly drink once it's
turned into junk food by the addition of sugar and cocoa.
- "MOMMMMMMM!": The cry of a child on another floor who wants
1. What a kid loves to do with a plateful of food.
2. Main element of Mom's favorite movies.
- NAILS: A hard covering on the end of the finger, which Mom can
never have a full set of due to pitching for batting practice, opening
stubborn modeling clay
lids and removing heat ducts to retrieve
army men and/or doll clothing.
- OCEAN: What the bathroom floor looks like after bath night for
kids, assorted pets, two or three full-sized towels and several dozen
toy boats, cars and animals.
- OPEN: The position of children's mouths when they eat in front
- OVERSTUFFED RECLINER: Mom's nickname for Dad.
- OW: The first word spoken by children with older siblings.
- PANIC: What a mother goes through when the darn wind-up
- PENITENTIARY: Where children who don't eat their vegetables
or clean their rooms eventually end up, according to Mom.
- PETS: Small, furry creatures which follow kids home so Mom will
have someone else to clean up after.
- PIANO: A large, expensive musical instrument which, after thousands
of dollars worth of lessons and constant harping by Mom, kids will
refuse to play in front of company.
- PUDDLE: a small body of water that draws other small bodies
wearing new shoes into it.
- PURSE: A handbag in which Mom carries the checkbook and keys
she can never find because they're buried under tissues, gum
wrappers, a plastic container full of cereal, toys from a fast-food
restaurant, a teddy bear, a football, wallpaper samples, a grocery
list and several outdated coupons.
- QUIET: A state of household serenity which occurs before the
birth of the first child and occurs again after the last child has
left for college.
- RAINCOAT: Article of clothing Mom bought to keep a child dry
and warm, rendered ineffective because it's in the bottom of a
locker stuffed in a book bag or because the child refuses to wear
"the geeky thing."
- REFRIGERATOR: Combination art gallery and air-conditioner for
- ROOM MOTHER: A position of great honor and responsibility
bestowed on a mom who inadvertently misses a PTA meeting.
- SCHOOL PLAY: Sadistic ritual in which adults derive pleasure from
watching offspring stumble through coarse re-enactment of famous
- SCREAMING: Home P.A. system.
- SHOW OFF: A child who is more talented than yours.
- SNOWSUITS: Warm, padded outer garments that, when completely
zipped and snapped perform two important functions: Protecting
children from the cold, and reminding them that they have to go to
- SOAP: A cleaning agent Mom puts on the sink on the off-chance one
of her kids will accidentally grab it while reaching for the towel.
- SPIT: All-purpose cleaning fluid especially good on kids' faces.
- SPOILED ROTTEN: What the kids become after as little as 15
minutes with Grandma.
- STERILIZE: What you do to your first baby's pacifier by boiling
it and to your last baby's pacifier by blowing on it.
- SWEATER: Magically charmed article of clothing that can ward
away colds and even pneumonia.
- SUNDAY BEST: Attractive, expensive children's clothing made
of a fabric which attracts melted chocolate and grape juice.
- TEACHER CONFERENCE: A meeting between Mom and that person
who has yet to understand her child's "special needs."
- TERRIBLE TWO'S: Having both kids at home all summer.
- "THAT WAY": How kids shouldn't look at moms if they know what's
good for them. Also applies to how they talk.
- TOP BUNK: Where you should never put a child wearing
- TOWELS: See "FLOOR COVERINGS."
- TRAMP: A woman with two kids and no stretch marks.
- TROUBLE: Area of nonspecific space a child can always be sure
to be in.
- TWO-MINUTE WARNING: When the baby's face turns red and
she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.
- UMPTEENTH: Highly conservative estimate of the number of times
Mom must instruct her offspring to do something before it actually
- UNDERWEAR: An article of clothing, the cleanliness of which
ensures the wearer will never have an accident.
- UTOPIA: See "BUBBLE BATH."
- VACATION: Where you take the family to get away from it all,
only to find it there, too.
- VERBAL: When a toddler is able to whine in words.
- VITAMINS: Tiny facsimiles of cave people Mom forces you to
swallow each morning as part of her sinister plot to have you grow
up to be "Just like Daddy."
- WALLS: Complete set of drawing paper for kids that comes with
- WASHING MACHINE: Household appliance used to clean jeans,
permanent ink markers, loose change, homework, tissues and wads
- "WHEN YOU FATHER GETS HOME": Standard measurement
of time between crime and punishment.
- WHODUNIT: None of the kids that live in your house.
- XOXOXOXO: Mom salutation guaranteed to make the already
embarrassing note in a kid's lunch box even more mortifying.
- XYLOPHONE: Small toy musical instrument often given as gifts
to children who show their appreciation by playing the stupid thing
constantly, over and over, all day long! See also "DRUMS."
- YARD SALE: Heart-wrenching emotional process wherein Mom plans
to sell kids' outdated toys and clothing that she decides at the last
minute are treasured mementos she can't bear to part with.
- "YIPPEE!": What Mom would jump up and shout if the school
year was changed to 12 months. See also "YAHOO!"
- ZILLION: Amount of times Mom must have gone to the supermarket
already this week.
- ZUCCHINI: Vegetable which can be baked, boiled, fried or steamed
before kids refuse to eat it.
© 2013 All rights reserved. Nancee Belshaw. All rights reserved.