Superpower for mom is the voice

Published 9:00 pm Sunday, March 4, 2012

My husband tells me I’m mean to him.

I don’t think he really means it. I think he just likes to see me squirm sometimes, wondering what I’ve done wrong.

Occasionally, he just tells me I’m mean out of the blue. He sees it as a little game. He calls me mean and then for a couple of hours, I’m steamed. Again, wondering what did I do or not do?

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Usually, he gives me that devilish look after I’ve given him “the voice.”

You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the mom voice.

It’s a little stern, usually an octave or two lower than your normal voice. It’s slow, calculated, and each word is enunciated.

He should really know when he’s in trouble by now; after all, we’ve been married long enough. I usually precede whatever it is I’m trying to get into his thick skull with “Dennis.” And if he isn’t hearing the anxiety in my mom voice tone … then it’s “Den-nis,” with emphasis on the D and N’s.

You know, like when your mom would give you the mom voice. She would start with your given name and if you weren’t paying close attention, then she would follow up with your first and middle name.

If that didn’t work, she would go onto the next step.

You know you’ve really been bad if mom has to use your first, middle and last name – all in one sentence.

“Tammie Leigh Santos, go clean your room.”

Heaven help you if you hear the phrase, “(First, middle, last name), just wait until your father gets home.”

At that point, it’s about time to pack your bags, cause you know you’ve done it now. If daddy is involved, that means a whuppin’ is coming.

I try not to use my mom voice very often, but sometimes I just can’t help it.

It’s like a superpower that only women have.

I especially try not to use it on Dennis, although I do accuse him of having a “voice,” too.

He doesn’t think he has a “voice,” but just ask my daughter. She hears it, too. He does have a “voice.”

Sometimes my mom voice comes out at work when I’m trying to explain something to someone or if I get frustrated with something.

I try not to use my mom voice at work. It can also lead to trouble.

I will admit to using my mom voice when I’ve had to deal with a customer service issue at some point. The mom voice comes in handy at those times, especially if you’re dealing with someone in person and not over the phone. At those times, I also pull out the “mom face.”

That’s the one with the one raised eyebrow and the glare that could take down an army.

I used to use the mom face on my son, Jeremy, when he was little.

All I had to do was say his name to get him to look at me, and then give him the mom face. No mom voice needed. It worked wonders!

The mom face didn’t work so well with my daughter, Liana. She was immune to the mom face. She would just grin at me, and then continue on with whatever it was that pleased her. She knew how to melt the mom face. She still does.

The mom voice works, though. The only response I usually get from her when I use the mom voice is silence. Maybe the mom voice works too well on her.

I’ve tried the mom face on Dennis. Apparently, he’s been taking lessons from Liana. It doesn’t work on him, either.

Maybe I should just stick with the mom voice for now.

And how was your week?

Lifestyles Editor Tammie Brewer can be reached at The DAILY LEADER at (601) 833-6961 ext. 144, by e-mail at or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602.