by Eric Ruhalter
Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2012.
I’m one of those people who loves to have the right word for the right occasion. I’ll chop garlic with any old knife, and nevermind the garlic press. The right tool for the right job, however, is a prize beyond rubies when it comes to language.
Imagine my delight when we were sent this book full of words made up for the job of parenting. Right from the very first word (feelabuster: (v) to pat down your toddler before she leaves a play date at someone else’s house to make sure she isn’t stealing anything), Eric Ruhalter had me laughing out loud, gleeful not only at recognizing the scenarios that gave rise to the words he’s made up, but their wonderfully apt accuracy.
These are some of my favourites:
invisibooboo: (n) the site on a child’s body where you unnecessarily applied a bandage to appease him when he got hurt, even though no blood ever appeared
freak of nurture: (n) a child who, without any prompting, wants to eat well-balanced meals and avoid junk food, gets enough sleep and exercise, and realized the value of his education
hypocriticize: (v) to yell at your kids to keep their voices down
daduation: (n) the painful realization that you are quickly and irreversibly turning into your parents
adrenalad: (n) a child who will never ever under any circumstances admit that he is tired
harrask: (v) to persist in asking again and again for permission to do something in the hopes that the answer will change from no to yes
snoot: (v) to suck in rather than blow out when blowing your nose
wishjack: (v) to blow out the candles on another child’s birthday cake
whyarrehea: (n) an inquisitive toddler’s chain of questions rattled off in rapid-fire succession
Santastrophe: (n) a parent’s misconception that her baby will enjoy being handed to an enormous, white-haired, long-bearded bespectacled stranger in a blood-red fuzzy suit for a Christmas photo
scoozer: (n) a child who only has something to say when you’re on the phone or in the bathroom
This book would make a great shower gift or a Mother’s or Father’s Day gift. The only downside to the book that I can see is that it does not include blank pages for readers to add their own neologisms. One of ours is Tooty McFartypants to describe the more flatluent members of the family.
Do you have any?
Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending us a review copy.