26/01/2016 17:30 GMT | Updated 26/01/2017 05:12 GMT

The 2016 Dictionary of Modern Parenting

Modern parenting can be confusing. As a mother, I just want to know how many times a week I can feed a three year old biscuits for breakfast and still not blush whenever I say 'We don't really eat sugary snacks in our house'.

Twice a week? More if they're not chocolate biscuits?

This inaugural edition of The Dictionary of Modern Parenting should help take some of the pressure out of parenting.

Negative Toy Equity

Every toy has two variable qualities, (a) the duration of time a child will badger you for the toy and (b) the length of time a child will play with the toy once it is bought for them. When (a) is longer than (b) you are in negative toy equity. Bummer.

Hands Free Parenting

When both parents are dressed smartly for work and neither is able to assist the children in their morning routine for fear of getting dirty. Usually involves two grown adults shouting ridiculous instructions at a toddler.

'Put your arms in the coat. No your coat, not in the pockets, put your arms in the sleeves of your coat. What's a sleeve? Jesus Christ the dangly army bits. Put your arms in the long dangly army bits of your coat! Yes all of your arms. Oh sod it, it's only a mild hurricane, just leave the coat, let's try the shoes. On your feet. Yes both of them.'

Angry Texts From Home

For example: Get nappies. When u home? Bring wine. Need drugs.

Short, terse texts sent by whoever is at home looking after the children. This is a survival technique parents have evolved to signal to those outside the home that things are not going well. Behind every short, rude text is a much longer story of a small child making a grown adult cry. If you receive one of these texts remember that bringing home wine is always a wise option.

The Crudités of Futility

A plate of curling carrot batons and shriveled cucumber slices that shouts: 'As parents we really want our children to eat healthy shit but they have other ideas, however we are not prepared to admit this in public because we are very middle class.'

Forget it, no one is eating fruit and vegetables at a three year old's party. No one.


A random question asked by a small child that has never been asked before. I mean literally those words have never met each other in a sentence before in the entire history of man. For example 'If a Viking built a spaceship out of Lego what colour would it be?' or 'How does a cat know when it's birthday is?'

Parental Sensory Shutdown

When two grown adults both pretend they cannot hear, see or smell something they can clearly hear, see or smell. Usually starts with not smelling dirty nappies on a baby and then symptoms can spread to pretending not to see an entire child stood silently behind the sofa until something incesty happens in Game Of Thrones.

The Professor Brian Cox Bedtime Manoeuvre

Allowing a child to stay up late and watch Daddy's boring science programme in the hope it will either bore them to sleep or turn them into a genius. Modern parenting at it's finest. Thank You Professor Cox.

Sleeping Bag

A mum who turns up at playgroup with blow dried hair, matching shoes and a face full of make up who then tries to chirpily explain that sometimes 'having too much sleep can also make you feel tired!' F**k. Right. Off.

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