Parlez-vous lockdown? The parent edition

I recently read this seriously funny piece in The Telegraph all about the 26 key terms we’re now all using as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. Whilst it had me nodding away in agreement and giggling to myself at some of the references to my working life, I noticed a few key terms and phrases were missing – namely anything related to being a parent during this time. I recon we could almost create a whole Haynes manual of new terms in the world of parenting during this time… wouldn’t you agree?

For sure these are truly unprecedented times. I mean from attempting to cut my daughters hair and giving her a wonky fringe, to our new rules around screen time for our two year old (she’s only allowed to watch TV for one hour, every hour) to a ridiculous amount of baking goodies being indulged in, all rules that might have existed pre-covid have gone out the window. And certainly, there are some things below that I couldn’t have dreamt up pre-crisis, but sure enough, they’re becoming a daily occurrence in my world. Maybe they are in yours too..

So here’s my list of parlez-vous lockdown terms; the parent edition.

  • Wicksful thinking – The ongoing strategy to do Joe Wicks daily with your little one, but them having none of it. As such, all parents tend to end up jumping round the room like a bunny in fancy dress, whilst the little one has a meltdown on the floor. Love a good activity that works for both parent and child..
  • 20:5:20 – No this is not a new fad diet. This is the time it takes you to plan and set up a new and exciting activity for your toddler, the five minutes they actually play with it, and the 20 minutes you then spend clearing up after them. There are just not enough hours in the day.
  • The lockdown fling – Not a new dance move that everyone’s doing on TikTok. No, this is when you consider flinging out a hard poop into the loo from your baby’s nappy (and then putting it back on them) because you are four days away from your next shop and down to only four nappies. Yuk, sorry for the overshare, but surely I’m not the only one?!
  • Lickdown – the delight you feel when your little one finally masters washing their hands properly, quickly followed by the slow motion horror (yet you can’t seem to get there quick enough to stop them) when they then lick their own shoe, the tap, the loo, the shopping bags… or anything for that matter.
  • G&Squashtini – 5pm on a Saturday (ok I lie, 5pm any day) when you run out of tonic and have to make do with orange or blackcurrant squash. If you do have a choice on flavours go for orange high juice, far more refined when it comes to taste.
  • A bad case of the quiet clap – Your weekly clap for carers, done with all vigour and love possible for our amazing key workers, but also a deep-rooted nervousness that you may wake the baby and have to go back upstairs to redo the whole of bedtime again.  
  • Zoom in, zone out – When you spend the whole time on a Zoom family call running after your little one to try and encourage them to come on the video call with you to say hi. Then getting to the end realising you’ve said absolutely nothing useful, nor listened to anyone. It’s always so great to catch up.
  • SpagRations – When you have to ration the macaroni, spaghetti and pasta for fear of running out and having nothing for your child to eat ever again. No matter how many times you tell an almost three-year-old that we’re trying to avoid waste right now, they will still turn their nose up at anything that isn’t pasta.
  • Disaster Chef – When your daughter is so used to licking the spoon due to the inordinate amount of baking going on daily (what else are you supposed to do with them?) that they lick any utensil they see on the kitchen worksurface. Butter off a spoon, egg yolk on the whisk, the wooden spoon you’ve used to stir the, as yet uncooked, curry. The opportunities are endless.
  • Coronaclampyourmouth – The moment you have to walk in-between a couple of people who are having a conversation on either side of the road and you pray that your kid keeps their mouth shut and stops breathing just for a few moments, only to realise they’re having a snack bar so there really wasn’t much point after all.  
  • PPPP– this stands for Pandemic Peppa Pig Preview. The absolute glee you feel when a Pepper Pig episode comes on that you haven’t yet seen. This is a rare moment and must be celebrated with an aforementioned G&Squashtini.
  • Coronafacepalm – When you go for your walk and, just as you walk past someone, your toddler announces, “daddy has Mr Coronavirus”. And then not knowing whether to laugh, reassure the anxious passer-by or just make a run for it.
  • Socia-e-Life – When your social life is busier than your pre Covid-19 existence, with zoom calls, online quizzes and pub crawls around your house most evenings. Roll on the end of lockdown when I can be boring again.

So there you have it.. we’ve witnessed all of the above over the last six weeks, and whilst there have been a number of serious facepalm moments, it’s made everything that little bit easier having a good giggle. I mean if you can’t laugh about it, what can you do?!

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