I Know What Mommy is About to Say

Kids can tell what is coming by the tone of the voice

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered
How your kids know
What you are about to say
As soon as you call them
And they decide whether
To run or to stay?


When mommy calls out
In a sweet sweet voice
And uses
One of the 100 pet names
She has for you
You know something good is coming
A treat? A surprise? Maybe just a hug?

When mommy calls out your name
And there is a slight edge to her voice
You stop to wonder if you should be 
Running the other way
But then you realize
The edge is because
She needs something
Maybe glue? Scissors?
And only you know where they are

When your mommy calls you
And she screams your name like a banshee
You stop in your tracks and remember
You borrowed her scissors
And never returned them
You run and retrieve the scissors
And when you reach her
She breaks into a smile

When mommy calls you
And you hear a question mark after your name
And there is no endearment this time
You do go to her
But you take a little time
To figure out what 
She might be about to ask
But you have forgotten
That you helped yourself to cookies
And left the tin open…

When mommy calls you
And the name is pronounced short and with a shade of disappointment
You realize she is holding your Math notes from school
She probably opened the one page where you
Messed up the sums
Or at least that is what you plan to tell her
While you drag your feet towards her

When mommy repeats your name quickly several times
And you hear a certain excitement
You drop everything and run without a thought
There must be something worth seeing
Maybe a fancy bird in the distance?
Maybe a cute ladybug in the garden?
Maybe a praying mantis on the balcony?
And you are not wrong
Mom is sitting there with a camera poised to capture the cutest little shiny earthworm

When mom’s voice goes shrill
And she calls your full name, first name, last name, middle name
And the tone is deathly calm
You have no choice
You don’t know what you have done
But you know what you have to do
You have to pack your bags
And leave town till she calms down!


All of us unconsciously react to the tone of a person’s voice rather than what they are actually saying. Kids are particularly astute at reading the tone. I have noticed this several times. Based on how I call the kid, her response is already ready even though I have not said another word.

Kids are masters at studying situations and people!

One thought

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s