How many passwords do you have in your life? Ignore PIN numbers for the time being – heaven forbid we should bring numbers into the equation – and concentrate on passwords. Are you a person who has the one password for everything? Usually something really clever like ‘password1’. Or do you actually follow all that IT advice and keep a different password for every single account and change them every month? If you are one of these people, please send immediate tips as to how you remember this month’s passwords.
I ask about passwords not because I’m going to share mine (hundreds of different ones, since you asked, updated regularly and written down nowhere…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), but because an article I read today at SuperParents gave me food for thought. A great guest post by Kelly Burstow of Be A Fun Mum (clearly she had me in mind when she named her blog) on stranger danger introduced the idea of a family password.
This is a word specific to your family, to be used if you need to unexpectedly send someone they’re not expecting to collect them from somewhere. If the adult knows the password, the kids know it’s okay to go with them. If they don’t know the password, the kids run screaming for the nearest teacher or trusted adult.
This got me thinking. First, I thought how useless I would be as the person sent in the emergency because I would no doubt forget the password en route, arrive to pick up the children and fail the test. They would have to stand there in amazement as I ran through every password I know in the hopes of lighting on the right one.
Then I started thinking about what our family password might be. A word specific to our family that a stranger would not guess by chance. And yet one that would not be completely embarrassing to share with the adult on their way to collect the kids. Family language can be a strange thing. Sister C (MultipleMum) wrote recently about some of our extended family vernacular and you should have a look at it here if you are game. (One read and you won’t understand how you’ve existed to date without the verb ‘to parp’. Trust me.)
In our house, chickens are known as ‘bokkens’ because this is what Mr3 called them for a long time. They make a ‘bok, bok, bok’ noise, therefore they were bokkens. Junk mail is known as ‘reklame’, the German word for advertising. The daily weather update on the news is greeted with shouts of ‘Het weer!’ – ‘the weather’ in Dutch. (There’s not much to get excited about in Fibrotown… and there is that genetic predisposition…)
You see my problem. “I need you to pick up the kids.”
“You need a password.”
[long pause] “O-kay. Um, sorry, something’s just come up.”
I am going to talk to the kids about this. If anyone can come up with a password it is Mr6, with his background in smugglers, spies and groups of kids with time on their hands. Once we work it out, I’ll let you know.
Actually, no, I won’t.
Do you think the password thing is a good idea? Would you struggle to come up with a suitable word? Or is that just me overthinking my attempts to Be A Fun Mum? Again.