The (sub)Urban Dictionary: Phrases That Sum Up Early Parenthood


There are many magical moments in early parenthood. There’s the curl of that first smile, those precious first steps, and hearing your baby warble out her first “ma-ma.”
But let’s not pretend that early parenthood is absent of some bizarre predicaments that test our patience and our sanity. Some situations are so challenging that we’ve created our own vocabulary.

An excerpt of some of the most commonly exchanged phrases from the (sub)Urban Dictionary:

Nap Eclipse- When all the children in the home are napping simultaneously, creating an environment of sweet silence. This is otherwise known as a time when mom or dad can GET STUFF DONE.

“I accomplished so much today because of the extraordinary nap eclipse that occured today!” gushed the mother.

Nap Apocalypse- When it’s nap time but, alas, NO children sleep. It’s followed up with emotional chaos and overtired tantrums 

ISHE tizzy (Intense Sibling Hypochondriac Episode)- When an episode of sibling jealousy evokes a temporary state of imagined and absurd physical ailment(s).

Upon seeing there was no more room in the stroller, the eldest son threw an ISHE tizzy, insisting his legs weren’t working.

Rein of Pterodactyl Terror (RPT)- When a child develops the unfortunate habit of shrieking like the winged dinosaur to gain the attention of their parents.

Netflix and Thrill- When both the parent and child can agree on a show that’s educational and free of overly obnoxious songs or characters.

It was a moment of Netflix and Thrill; everyone was grateful that the child had requested “Moana” over “Caillou.” 

Hot Milkshake Eyewash- That awkward occurrence when your breast milk lets down so fast that it squirts into your infant’s face and eyeballs.

suburban dictionary
Actual footage of a “Bed Barnacle”

The baby was the unfortunate recipient of a hot milkshake eyewash, but she remained unfazed. 

Bed Barnacle- When your toddler falls asleep in their own room but manges to creep into your bed during the night, absorbing every inch of mattress space and sabotaging all blanket coverage.

“Our bed barnacle continues to thwart any hope of intimacy,” she wept to her therapist.

Eye of the Storm- When all siblings play harmoniously for five or more minutes and you temporarily retire your referee shirt.

The Teddy Ruxpin- When you witness your child repeat a word or phrase that is incredibly inappropriate, in public, and realize it came straight from your own mouth.

Before he knew it, his daughter pulled the Teddy Ruxpin. An onslaught of crass, verbal diarrhea tainted the docile Baptism as she tripped over the pew.

Tip ‘n Dip- When you go to innocently check a child’s diaper and your finger(s) accidentally slip into a deep wad of poop.

Jack ‘n the Box- When your toddler discovers how to escape the confines of the standard crib or play pen.

Catcher in the Eye- When an unexpected stream of urine invades your eye(s) during a routine diaper change. 

Lego Laceration- Injuries sustained as a direct result accidental contact with hard, tiny toys, such as Legos, Calico Critters, or Shopkins to the naked foot.

The lego laceration unleashed a series of curses from the mother at the playdate. This prompted a Teddy Ruxpin from the observant toddler. 

Mombie- The maternal state wherein extreme sleep deprivation leaves you questioning how you still have a pulse and if you’re still safe to operate a minivan. 

Mombie Killer- Coffee…or wine.

The Walking Fed- Children who complain of intense hunger despite having recently consumed an exorbitant amounts of snacks.

Hunt for Brown October- The horrible first experience of having your child defecate in the tub during bath time. 

It was her Hunt for Brown October moment. With disgust, she fished out the floating turd. 

Victory Lap- The window of time a parent encounters when the kids are finally asleep and in bed. Most parents take this opportunity to cram in as much adult entertainment as they can. Activities might include TV binge-watching, a bowel movement in solitude, or finishing breakfast.

Rock on parents. You’re not alone in these days of early parenthood. We cry and laugh along with you.
We’ve all been there; so many times, in fact, that the craziness has become part of our everyday language.

What’s your favorite mom-slang?

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Hello, I'm Heather! Born and raised in New Hampshire, I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to raise our four tiny humans, alongside my husband in the beautiful Seacoast community. As a mental health therapist by trade, and full-time mama by life, I find balance in helping my kids to explore the world through deliciously messy play, connecting with other families in the area, having a good belly laugh, and enjoying a strong cup of coffee. My passions include pouring my heart into writing, getting lost in watercolor painting, spending time along the ocean, and discovering new recipes to cook up for my family. When I'm not chasing after my kids or digging in our garden, I work to educate and share about essential oils use for mental health and holistic wellness.