The Parenting Tactics of Mom Von

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My dear wee mom is exactly what you imagine when you imagine a Midwestern grade school teacher. Are you imagining red elastic-waisted pants? And appliqued sweaters? And holiday-themed jewelry? Now imagine all that plus a steely will, a dark sense of humor and a button nose. This is the recipe for Mom Von.Growing up with two teachers as parents means that you can pull approximately nothing over on them because a) they have spies everywhere b) they have heard it all before. One of my mother’s favored response to any Kid Von whining was “Oh, you’re fine. I think you’ll live.” Oh really, Mom?! I’m fairly sure my life will actually end if my nightly phone call allotment isn’t extended to 3 hours!!!

Her other top five:

5) “Well, whose fault is that?”
Seriously, Mom. This is gold. I fight the urge to say this every blessed day to people in my life. The Lean-Cuisine stealing co-worker for one.4) “We’ll see, depending on your behavior.”
Ahhhh! You slay me! The perfect catch 22! A ‘yes’ is not certain and I have to be good until you decide! That’s a long time to be good.

3) “You think so, huh?”
Usually said in response to any bossy or slightly inflammatory remarks uttered by wound-up Kid Vons. For example “I’m going to stay over at Kristin’s on Sunday, I don’t care what you say!” “You think so, huh?” or “I’m going to move in with that questionable boyfriend and spend the summer waitressing at Rick’s Cabaret!” “You think so, huh?”

2) “It’s not necessary”
Ooooh, Mom! Always with the airtight argument! Sure, it’s not strictly necessary that you drive me to Duluth so I can buy over-priced incense at the Electric Fetus. But bathing isn’t necessary either.

1) “We don’t (verb) in this house.”
We don’t hit in this house. We don’t talk like that in this house. We don’t eat cheesy poofs in our underwear for the entirity of Summer vacation in this house. Jeez, Mom, you’re no fun.

And, yes. I now use nearly all of the above phrases in my daily life. What were your parents’ favorite lines when you were a kid?



Mom’s response to any mention of boredom: “Boring people get bored, Darcie.”

Dad’s response to any mention of boredom: “What type of bored? Pine? Oak?”

Both met with mighty child sighs.


That is a goooood list.

I was such a goody two-shoes that our family lexicon wasn’t discipline focused. Instead, it revolved around imaginary characters that my dad made up and/or stole from Steve Allen (as in, “Who is this guy talking on the radio about cheese, dad?” “I believe that’s Randy Placard/Dylan Smetnik/Schtick Davis, Sal”) and bizarre semi-Southern colloquialisms the my mom would scatter throughout conversation (“That really frosts my cake.” I can’t think of any more right now. It’s early.)

I definitely find myself talking like both of those guys. Though my dad’s cast of characters has mostly been replaced by the phrase “your mom” (as in, “Who is this guy talking on the radio about cheese, Sal?” “I believe that’s your mom, Husband Mike.”)


This is excellent. I could employ all of these phrases when dealing with salespeople from our advertising department at work.

“We demand another mock-up.”
“That’s not necessary.”

“Can you guys squeeze this ad in at the last second?”
“we’ll see, depending on your behavior.”

Sarah Von Bargen

Darc: Lori! Touche!

Sal: that is such Dad humor! My Dad was constantly pulling out his obscure cultural references that I totally missed and then chuckling to himself.

Dutchess: What was your response to that? I got that as well and I’d always be all: “What? No it doesn’t. The point of a race is to go fast, Mom.”

Emily: Word. I can’t wait to use this one on my own kids.

Eric: It’s airtight isn’t it?! So useful and in-arguable! And infuriating!


if i was trying to convince mum that she should let me do something because my friend was allowed to do it, the guaranteed response was, “if (friend’s name) stuck her head in an oven, would you do it too?”
well, of course not… but i don’t see what that has to do with me not being allowed to go to the blue-light disco.


When I was little, wherever my dad was going was somewhere the Eastwood girls wanted to go too. So whenever Pap didn’t want us tagging along he’d say he was, “Going to see a man about a dog.”
For the longest time we expected him to walk in with a puppy. That never happened.


I know I am late, just discovered your blog but this post KILLED me, whenever I would ask my grandma where she was going she would say “I am going to see the turtles take to the water” or if I asked who she was talking to on the phone she would say “Noneyea” as in none of your business but I thought that was her friends name…and my moms favorite: “Hungry people will eat anything”, and DAD: “we will just play it by ear”


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