Please Don’t Call Me Mom

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If you’re a mother, and a loving one at that – is it okay (just every now and then) to wish your kids could suddenly not utter any forms or variations of the word “Mom”? I would still love them and all. But just for an hour, if they could be in the house and not have that word come out of their mouths, I think I’d have to call Guiness and report a new record.

I think it only becomes bothersome because “Mom” is almost always followed by an action verb and it’s a verb that applies to me. Rarely is it just “Mom, I love you”. It’s attached to a task that I must do. Sign something, settle something, clean up something, go get something, wash something, think of something, find something, fix something.

When it’s not followed by a task, it’s being used as a Pavlovic whistle. Somehow they’ve been trained to abuse the word. I believe they think I will not hear what they say unless they start their sentence with the word “Mom”. “Mom, at school today we….” “Mom, do you know what you call a monkey who…” “Mom, what time is that movie…” I do not understand. At work, people don’t direct sentences at me by first saying “Erica” as in “Erica, I think you should do a presentation on….”. It’s just “Do a presentation.”

I don’t think my husband even says my name more than once a year. If we’re all sitting at dinner and he says, “We need to get the refrigerator fixed”, I know he’s talking to me. He doesn’t have to first get my attention by calling my name.

Maybe it’s my fault. I wonder if I was sometimes so distracted that unless they said my name first, I didn’t respond. It’s possible but I don’t remember that being the case. Of course, if I was distracted, I wouldn’t remember, would I?