The latest trend in nomenclature rings false to at least one person who recently realized that "Mom" has become "the now generic name for every female parent in our country." Thinking it over, Anne Albeck dates the phenomenon to the early '90s, but familiarity—and overfamiliarity—really does breed contempt. "Being called Mom by everyone from the shoe store clerk to the pediatrician is a little too intimate for me," Albeck writes for the Chicago Tribune.
"This appears to be an adult aberration," she observes. Kids know the power of Mom, even if nobody's getting tattled on: "That's a name reserved for a very special person in his life." She knows she's overreacting, and "all of these grown-ups calling me Mom aren't trying to be rude or inappropriate." Acknowledges Albeck: "Apparently what most people want to call me is anal."