Skip to Content

Mom! We all love Mom, don’t we? She gave us life. She read bedtime stories to us at night. She looked after us when we couldn’t be bothered to look after ourselves. And she makes us delicious cookies, which is important. We adore Mom, and we’d hate to disappoint her. And do you know why we’d hate it? Because we’d hear about it.

And I don’t mean in the “Clean up your room!” kind of way. No, veteran moms hardly need words to convey their displeasure with us. Instead, they rely on a range of primal, spontaneous noises designed to zap us directly in the spinal column, in the way a shock collar might do to a naughty dog. You know about Dad Sounds: Dad smacking his lips loudly when he’s eating too big a bite of steak, Dad sighing at jet engine volume when he sinks into his chair, Dad farting. Oh Dad, you rascal! Will you ever stop with those crazy farts? We’ve got company over, man! One more fart like that and Mom’ll let you have it!

For Mom has a collection of sounds all her own. We know what those sounds are. We grew up with those sounds echoing in our little ears. Mom Sounds cover the range of mom reactions, from quiet disapproval to vehement disapproval. Join me now for a quick tour of those moments when Mom requires our immediate attention.

When she finds a surprise mess in the house. That piercing OH! lets us know that something in the living room has been blemished. Worst of all, the perpetrator didn’t even bother to clean up after themselves. WHO DID THIS, Mom's guttural cry demands. You can bet it wasn’t her.

When there’s violence on the TV. Oh, Mom didn’t know this movie was gonna be that kind of movie. All that blood is a little much, don’t you think?

When there’s sex on the TV. Ever wonder what a squirm would sound like? Mom knows. Once a pair of titties graces the screen, we’re all gonna feel a touch awkward sitting there with Mom. The feeling is mutual, and Mom’s pained errrmmmuhh makes that more than evident. This kind of movie is really more your father’s cup of tea.

When something alarming has happened in the news. Did you hear that someone was shot five counties over? Friends, that’s a Mom Fact. Dad has facts of his own that are tangential, boring, and often false. Mom Facts, however, come right from the source. She’s reading the paper online when WHOA! You gotta hear about what happened to these people you don’t know, in a place you don’t live. Are the locks on our doors strong enough?

When the music is too loud. What song is this? Is this even a song? Why would you play this out loud?

OMG! A friend of hers you met once and don’t remember just emailed and she's going to Jamaica for spring break! Oh wow, we’re so jealous of Daisy!

When there’s big doings with the neighbors. Mom just made a big OOOOOH when she came through the door. Did you see that the Hartwells put a For Sale sign up in their front yard? Quick, let’s check to see how much they’re asking. $850,000? Oh please, who’s gonna buy it for that?

When she gets home from work. When Dad comes home, you barely realize it. He’s through the door and then either right to his chair, to the bedroom to take off his socks, or to the fridge for the first of however many beers. No time for chitchat. When Mom’s home, you get a joyful, yet somewhat fatigued, HELLO! that rings throughout the house. Mom's back, gang. Shit’s gonna be all right. When you ask her how her day was, she gives you a pained groan. Everyone at work was REALLY annoying. Oh, you’re tired? Mom was on her feet all goddamn day, kid. Give her an hour before you start asking for shit.

When we took too much food on a trip to the buffet. That’s disgusting. Put some of those bacon and eggs back in the pan. Go! No one’s gonna stare.

When she doesn’t like what she ordered. There’s a soupçon of a whimper coming from across the table. Mom knew it. She should’ve ordered the halibut instead of the carne asada tacos.

When we did good. We got straight A’s. The dentist says we have no cavities. We took out the trash without being told to. And we’re not dressed like a schlub. Mom’s so proud of us. Come on and give her a hug. Mom will always love us. We don’t even have to be told so. We can hear it already.

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter