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The 3-Letter Word I’m Kinda Tired of Hearing

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Sometimes my kids get stuck on repeat with certain words or phrases or super-annoying, inappropriate sounds. Yesterday it was one word in particular and I think Alex may have said it 6,523 times. But I lost count.

I picked him up at the bus stop at 3:45 and we headed to the grocery store, then to get Nora, then home. We emptied the groceries, we arranged the flowers we bought, then we played in the playroom, did some homework, dressed up as doctors (I was the patient), then we set the table, then we ate dinner, then we had baths, books and bed. It was four hours of pretty good quality time with my kids and I really enjoyed it. But the entire time—I mean the entire time—Alex was a broken record stuck on one word. MOM. Here’s how it went:

Mom, hi mom. Mom, can I have a treat? Mom, can I have a play date with Sawyer? Mom, who’s that? Mom, why can’t I have a treat? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom, why did the Titanic sink? Mom, is it gonna snow tomorrow? Mom, let’s play the car game. Mom, why don’t I see my friend Jake anymore? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom, can you turn it up? Mom, can you turn it down? Mom, which way is west? Mom, why do 5s look like 2s? Mom, I know what P.M. means. Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom, do you remember that time I fell and almost broke my chin? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom, do we need a shallot? Mom, can we get some cucumbers? Mom, look there’s Brett! Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom, why is it called a peppermint patty? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom, is N-O-R-A gonna do the flowers with us? Mom, do I have to eat my asparagus? Mom, can I dip my burger in mayonnaise? Mom, do you like your buns toasted? Mom, can I have more milk? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom, watch this, Mom, close your eyes, Mom, OK open them. Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom, if you get a growing pain in one leg does only that leg grow? Mom, have you read any books by Mario Cuomo? Mom, how do you spell cane? Mom, are you going to B-E-D now, too? Mom, remember the time I was eating yogurt and I jumped and banged my lip? Mom, I have a good memory, right? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?

I am missing about 80 percent of the moms, but you get the idea. It was epic. It reminded me of this Family Guy clip that you have to watch. Only I had a slightly nicer response than Lois. First, I tried to answer as many questions as I could: Hi! Yes, no, it hit an iceberg, awesome! Wait, how do you know about the Titanic? Sure, that way, I don’t think so, yes, we don’t need them, Oh, hi Brett! Because it’s made of peppermint and shaped like a patty, yes, no, OK, we’ll have to look it up, Mario Cuomo the former governor writes books?! Yes, yes, yes. Great! No, your legs will still be the same size, etc., etc., ad nauseam. I also peppered in some of this stuff:

I’m right here bud, you don’t have to say my name. Al, can you hang on a sec? Babe, chill. Take a breath. Al, I’m talking. Seriously, Al? I know you’re talking to me Ali, I’m the only one in the room, you don’t have to keep addressing me! I love you!

Of course I love that he asks questions, I love that he’s curious, I love that he’s outspoken and all of that. It’s really just all the “moms” that seem totally unnecessary. Why does he feel the need to preface everything that comes out of his mouth with mom? He actually does it to anyone he’s talking to (just ask my sister, Melissa, who hears “Aunt Mimi” in her sleep after spending a day with my boy). And it’s not like I’m not paying attention to him, either. He says mom even when I’m staring right into his caramel-colored eyes. He’s always addressed people by their names and I like that but boy oh boy does it get old fast when you’re the one he’s addressing...and addressing...and addressing...and addressing.

Do your kids do this? I know it's hardly parenting news that our children say mom nonstop—and, like I said, it was a nice afternoon with my two—but the moms hit me particularly hard yesterday. Let me know if you have any tips for curbing the use of this word a tad without crushing their excitement!