Computer Science for Parents

babyI was discussing recently with friends that it would be amusing to create a computer science reference for parents.

So for those of you out there who know something about computers and babies, I offer a few definitions.

critical section

The urgent period between removing the old dirty diaper and securing the clean new one.

code review

A diaper fails the sniff test, and you request a clean-up.  Ideally this is done by the person who was holding the baby when the error occurred.

core dump

Self explanatory :-|

debugging session

You lift the baby, sniff the diaper, but can’t make an obvious conclusion.  You start opening layers of clothing in search of additional evidence.

scope creep

You ask spouse to “hold” the baby, knowing full well that a diaper change is already needed.

turing machine

A device which formerly accepted tape as input, but is now gummed up with oatmeal.  “Turing complete” means “filled entirely” with oatmeal.

code re-use

Examine yesterday’s clothes for obvious signs of stains / barf / poop.  Continue using if they don’t look or smell too bad.


An arrangement of toys, ideally in a storage bin.  Often these are scattered randomly around the house; we call this “fragmentation”.


You cannot get out of the house because each child poops / barfs at a frequency greater than they can be cleaned up and prepped for departure.

port exhaustion

Juggling baby, bottle, barf cloth, iDevice, tissues, you finally run out of appendages available to hold anything.

child process

What you got.

sleep(unsigned int seconds)

This is formally deprecated, having been delegated to child processes.


You hired a baby sitter.

resource leak

Maladjusted diaper results in loss of … resources.

This entry was posted in Computing, Humor. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Computer Science for Parents

  1. Rick Ehrhart says:

    Steve -

    As usual, your humor is excellent.

    I think you could add wait(). The time to wait until the child settles down while crying.

    Take care,

    – Rick -

  2. Andy FInkenstadt says:

    Another addition:

    Non-maskable Interrupt: When a child announces “pee!” while in the midst of potty training. Especially when the child doesn’t yet understand the difference between “pee” and “poo!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>