Computer Terms Applied to Parenting

Date Received: February 16, 2007.

This is a list of computer-related terms that can also be applied to parenting, though in a slightly different way. If you, gentle reader, have any suggestions, please Mail me!


  1. Access Denied: The cookie jar is in a locked cupboard.
  2. Backup: What you get when toys are put in the toilet.
  3. BSD: Big Stinky Diaper.
  4. CD-ROM: Change Diaper - Remove Offending Material.
  5. Core Dump: Cause of BSD.
  6. Crash: What happens if you don't terminate a child process.
  7. DB2: Diaper Blowout #2: It always happens when you're out of the house, usually without extra diapers and/or wipes.2
  8. Disk Defragmentation: Sweeping up a broken plate.
  9. Disk Error: The frisbee went into the neighbour's yard.1
  10. Drive: What motivates kids to spend 5 hours playing the same video game, yet is strangely lacking when it comes to doing homework or chores.
  11. Excel: What kids do at avoiding homework and chores.
  12. File Not Found: Why the little girl couldn't get a manicure.
  13. Hard drive: The long journey on vacation/to visit grandparents.1
  14. Illegal Operation: Cheating on a test, drinking underage, etc.1
  15. Invalid Argument: "He hit me back first!", "Because I don't want to!", etc.1
  16. Hyperlink: The connection between children's behaviour and sugar.
  17. Interrupt Request: "Mommy/Daddy, stop talking on the phone! I want [whatever]!"
  18. Laptop: Where the cuddle is administered when sick or upset.1
  19. Monitor: What you have to do to keep the little monsters out of trouble.
  20. Office: Where you go to get away from it all.2
  21. Parallel Processing: Talking on the phone, instant messaging, watching TV and ignoring homework, all at the same time.
  22. PDF: Pretty Dirty Fingernails.2
  23. Power Switch: The stick from the back yard that can be used for threats of spankings (now politically incorrect, of course).2
  24. PowerPoint: Used to show the kids where to go for time-out.
  25. RAM: When kids collide.
  26. Reboot: What to do when the kid gets his boots on the wrong feet.
  27. Screen saver: Reminding the kids (loudly) that the window screen is NOT for straining play-dough.
  28. Segmentation Fault: What happens when the kids tease the neighbour's dog until it pulls hard enough to break its chain and charge.
  29. Serial Cable: A free jump-rope inside a box of Lucky Charms.
  30. Sleep: What kids won't do on weekends.
  31. Software Error: The pillow fight has just been discovered in full swing!1
  32. Spreadsheets: An unmade bed.
  33. Terminate a Child Process: Catching them in the act before they wreck something.
  34. Unix: What men are supposed to become after the last kid is born.
  35. USB: Uninterrupted Sustained Barfing, courtesy of a stomach virus.
  36. Virtual machine: A computer that exists for your use only, with no games and no children hogging it, and is therefore totally imaginary.1
  37. Virus Scan: A visit to the doctor.1
  38. Word: What you shout at the kids when they're being naughty.2
  39. WordPerfect: Praise.2


Contributors: Unmarked: Myself (Harold Reynolds)
1 Helen Kennedy
2 Jon Martin

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