PracticalDad Slang:  Of Opies, Forcepushing and Duckpecking

Every job has its own slang and over the years, I’ve heard any number of words and phrases to describe childrearing.  Here are some of my favorites.

Blowout (n)

A blowout is anytime that an infant or toddler defecates in such volume or force that the mess escapes the diaper and travels throughout the clothing.  The worst blowout occurs with the mess traveling up the back and soiling the clothing; since much infant clothing involves something that’s pulled over the head, this type will throw a wrench in the schedule as removing the clothing – and mess – will almost certainly get into the hair, requiring a bath.

Junior’s blowout was so massive that I almost called in the National Guard.

Colt (adj, n)

The stage in development in which a child’s body has outgrown it’s own capacity to adequately control and manuever it, marked by outsized hands and feet.

(After watching Junior trip twice and fall once enroute to the curb)  Junior’s looking rather coltish this morning, isn’t he?  See Also:  Now that his shoe size is higher than his ability to count, he’s officially in the colt stage.

Charlie (n)

The spoken part of the phrase, the unspoken first part being "half-ass".  Half-ass Charlie refers to those kids and teens who will do the most slapdash job possible just to say that it’s done.  This term was used by a school custodian in a conversation about students who’d been tasked with helping to clean as discipline for misbehavior.

She should know better than that, that job’s the work of an absolute Charlie.

Duckpecking (n, v)

Source:  A mother who was commenting on the parenting of teens, it’s like being pecked to death by ducks.  The repeated and sometimes infuriating practice of being hounded by ‘tweeners and teens who persist in their interruptions and requests, even despite having been consistently given an answer already.

When Junior doesn’t like the answer that he’s given, he goes right into duckpecking mode.  See Also:  He’s a nasty little duckpecker, ain’t he?

Facepalm (adj)

The physical reaction of rubbing one’s face with the hand out of sheer disbelief at what Junior has just done or said.  This is sometimes a precursor to a massive headache or mild stroke.

Mike had a facepalm moment when he walked into Junior’s room and found that the boys had used the wall for knife-throwing practice after practicing their signatures with permanent marker on the bedroom’s hardwood floor. 

Force Push (n, v)

An action, typically used by kids and tweeners, to keep annoying people away.  When the user is being bothered by someone, he either spits or heavily licks his palm so that it’s copiously wet and then sticks it in the face of the annoying party, thus repelling him backwards to avoid having spit rubbed in his face.  The term is inspired by the Jedi of the Star Wars films (although I’ve never seen a clip of Obi-Wan hocking a loogie into his hand). 

Randy wouldn’t stop looking over my shoulder during free reading so I did a force push to get him to go away.

Monkeyhammering (adj, v)

Based upon the premise that if you give a monkey a hammer, that’s what he’ll use for every problem and challenge.  This is the situation in which a child of any age uses what they know to achieve the task at hand, regardless of the damage done to the item.

Several days after reading this and mentally noting the phrase on Zerohedge just last week, my wife and I got to experience it first hand.

The kids really monkeyhammered the KitchenAid Stand-up Mixer; when I asked them to clean the dried batter off of it, they tossed it into a sink full of hot, soapy water and then rinsed it off with the spray nozzle.

Opie (n)

Name used to describe any (O)ther (P)erson’s kid.  Even if the kid winds up spending more time with you than at their own home, they’re an Opie.  Likewise, your own kid is someone else’s Opie.

I went to pick up Junior after practice and ended up giving rides home to three other Opies.

Waldo (n)

A child with a tendency to wander away, as in Where’s Waldo now?

Oh great, I’m chaperoning Fiona during the field trip.  I hear that she’s a Waldo.

Windowlicker (n)

A term once used by another father as we discussed the upcoming Kindergarten year for our respective sons, who are two weeks apart in age.  It refers to a kid who, while not retarded or dumb, is simply odd and spastic.

Y’know, every father’s fear is that when the bus pulls away on that first morning, his kid’s gonna be the windowlicker.  The one kid who, while all the other kids are waving goodbye, is licking the back window instead.

I still laugh when I think about that particular remark.



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