Mother & Father

Mother & Father


Nuthin fancy.

I’ve never been keen on formalities, especially when it came to addressing my parents as “mother” and “father.”

Referring to “my mother” or “my father” in conversation seemed so upper crust.  Like something one would say at the country club wearing a houndstooth jacket, sipping a martini.

My experience growing up was quite different. 

Usually in the backyard.  Sitting on a lawn chair that turned the back of your thigh into a sweaty train wreck.  Drinking a can of beer.

Thus it has always been simply “Mom and Dad” for me.

Fact is, I didn’t call my Dad, Dad.  To me, he was “Dude.”

“Dude” was a police officer.  And in his uniform, grey shirt, black tie & pants, gold badge and black leather gun belt–he looked quite dapper.  He stood tall and thin–like Barney Fife.  With a better posture.

From an early age, I would admire him in his police garb and tell him he was a “pretty cool dude.”

Over time it got shortened to just “Dude.”

In the past I have called my mom “Mother.”  I would jokingly greet her with an over-the-top “Hello Mother.”  She would pick up on my mocking tone and respond with an equally fake “Hello Son.”

My mom could take it and dish it out too with cutting edge!  She worked in a factory, with mostly guys, so she knew how to handle herself.

Not MY parents!


What did you call your folks?  Share your side with a comment.

Yeah, it was never mother & father for me.  Mom and Dad, or Dude worked just fine.

We kept things low key.  More flannel than houndstooth.  More campsite than country club.

And we liked it that way.

Keep well and keep moving!




9 Replies to “Mother & Father”

  1. Always mom or mama and dad. Very casual upbringing, and we didn’t speak until spoken to 😂

  2. True story- my nephew’s first word was “Dude.” His uncle was around a lot and his dad and uncle would always call each other dude and so that’s the first word he learned. Similarly, it took him a while to call his mom, “Mom,” despite her constant pleading. He called her “Babe” because that’s what Daddy called her.

  3. I have never used Mother, Father, or Mommy. It has always been Daddy and Mama. My 36 year old daughter calls me Mom, but she does sometimes use Mother when she is yelling at me 🙂

    1. Margaret,
      Your daughter using “Mother” when she is angry with you is similar to a parent yelling at the child using his/her full name. (That’s how I learned my name!) Thanks for sharing.

      1. Doug,
        I totally agree with you! Great minds think alike. I was going to mention exactly what you just said, in my comment, but decided against it. I knew that is why she calls me ” Mother” when she is angry. I guess it could be worse 🙂

  4. Great piece, as usual, Doug! Interestingly, from the age of 12 to 18 I called my parents, “Lemme alone!” and “Get outta my room!” After college, I called them every Sunday.

    1. Thanks Dave! Very funny comment!
      I encourage all to check out Dave’s dog-loving blog..Sleeping Between Giants.