Friday, October 23, 2009

Sniglets for Moms

I'm probably dating myself a bit, but man how I loved sniglets. You know, words that aren't words but should be.

I still can remember my all-time favorite: lactomangulation. It means, of course, "manhandling the 'open here' spout on a milk carton so badly that one has to resort to using the 'illegal' side."


The best sniglet of all time, however, is not actually from the show but rather was coined by my dear friend Steven: he calls the cleaning you do before the cleaning people come....pre-maidication.


Lately I've been finding myself in need of sniglets. Because as a parent, you often find yourself in situations that don't have names...but should.

It happened the other day when I was so pleased that Alec had fallen asleep so quickly and easily for his nap...only to realize -- doh! -- that the monitor wasn't actually on. There should be a name for that, I thought to myself.

Yesterday, just at the very moment that I realized that our lunch server's pokiness was going to make my best friend miss her train to Washington, I also realized that Alec was in emergent need of a diaper change. Both ladies' rooms were occupied. The men's room had nowhere to change him. So I ended up having to change him on...the sidewalk on Cold Spring Lane, on top of an insulated grocery bag from Trader Joes I found in the back of car. The grocery bag, sadly, had to be burned, but Michele did catch the MARC with all of about four seconds to spare, and that was only because she bought a ticket on the train.

Anyway, as I crouched on the sidewalk, frantically trying to subdue my poop-covered octopus of a child, knowing that with every wriggle he was putting nails in the coffin of Michele's timely departure, I couldn't help but think that there should be a name for this: the propensity of children to move their bowels at the most highly inconvenient moments. And the corollary to it, which is that when time is of the essence, you will be forced to change a diaper in the most impractical, inconvenient place possible. (A kindly man actually slowed down and yelled, "Do you need some paper towel?" out his car window. I kid you not.)

And then it happened again today. There was someone I had been hiding in my Facebook feed for months, too wimpy to actually defriend. Something prompted me to look her up today and I realized she had actually defriended me. And I still managed to feel a little pissed. There should be a name for that, I thought.

And a name for that there shall be. We at World Headquarters are all about public service. So I'm launching a sniglets feature you'll see semi-regularly. I'll post some modern-day situations in desperate need of convenient terminology, like the three I've put out there today. And you will come up with witty names for them. Maybe if I ever get any actual swag, you can win it. For now, you'll just get the glory of a job well done.

So let's see what you've got now, shall we? ;-)


  1. Awesome. Here I thought you were going to name them yourself... I'll let you know if I come up with something.

    Speaking of facebook - can I just say lately I've gotten nervous everytime I get a friend request? In my early fb days I was excited...

  2. Hmmm. The poop one is rife with possibilities. . .

    The friend request one is harder. . .
    Friendship Slights? (Yeah, two words. Doesn't count.) I'll keep working on it.

  3. I'll see what I can do, Missy. I was hoping to foist the hard part off on you guys. ;-)

    My friend Julie (who, in a bit of serendipity, is the sister of Steven of premaidication fame), suggested "Am"bff"alent" on FB for the friending one, which I love.

  4. I refer to the situation you described with Alec's ill-timed diaper as "The Inconvient Poop." Not exactly a sniglet.

    I remember sniglets, too. "Frees" - the fries at the bottom of the bag outside the container. :-)

  5. Sniglets! My longtime favorite: insurination (when you pee not because you have to go but because a bathroom opportunity has presented itself)


  6. It's funny that you posted this. I've found myself thinking about sniglets a lot lately, too. I'm better at coming up with the situation than the sniglet itself, though. Some of the ones on the top of my mind right now:

    1. Fear of catching my 1-year-old's skin in the zipper as I zip him into his sleeper (epidermazippaphobia, maybe?)

    2. A word to describe those annoying toys (pretend cell phones or laptops, usually) that call out to you 15 seconds after you close them, completely foiling your attempts to extract your kid from them. (Need suggestions for this one - all of mine include 4 letter words that aren't fit for mixed company, let alone toddlers.)