When I get a form that asks me to check a box for my preferred salutation, I always check “Ms.” I am just not a “Mrs.” But now I have a dilemma. Connor has a friend from preschool (and thank you, by the way, for the advice on helping him make friends) whose parents feel quite strongly that their son should call his friends’ parents Mr. and Mrs.
We had their family over for dinner one night recently, and I did a double-take when this little guy called me Mrs. Farr. I almost said, “Oh no, please call me 'Robin,'” but then wondered if maybe he was just following his parents’ directions.
And sure enough. I suggested to my husband that we find some way to bring up the subject (to see if it’s something they prefer or if they’re just asking him to call us that in case it’s something we prefer) and he said the mom had mentioned it. Apparently they want their son to treat other adults with respect and, for them, calling them by Mr. or Mrs. is part of that.
I understand that. I really do. But, ugh. I’m just not a Mrs. (Seriously, look at that picture. Is that a Mrs.?!) I feel really awkward being called that.
“You could suggest he calls you Ms. Farr,” my husband offered.
But that's not really any less awkward (perhaps more so, in fact) and, besides, that’s not really my concern with the title.
I want to have a respectful but casual relationship with my kids’ friends. I want to be the mom whose house they come to and feel comfortable sitting down at the table and talking to me like a person and not just their friend’s mom. I suppose “Mrs. Farr” could be that person, too, but it feels to me like a level of formality that changes the dynamic of our relationship.
Up until now, Connor has always called our friends (and his friends’ parents) by their first names. In fact, he calls many of our good friends (whose kids are his good friends) Auntie or Uncle, which feels right to me because they’re like family.
Not all his friends’ parents are going to have that relationship with our family, of course. And if other parents want our kids to call them Mr. or Mrs. I have absolutely no problem with that. But I think it’s going to take Connor some getting used to.
We always referred to his preschool friend’s mom as “Jennifer,” but have now asked Connor to call her Mrs. [Last name].
“But I don’t know Mrs. G,” he said, clearly not understanding to whom we were referring.
“Sure you do,” countered my husband. “She’s O’s mom.”
“Oh! You mean Mrs. Jennifer G,” he said, and has proceeded to call her that ever since. I’m not really sure that’s the “Mrs.” she’s looking for, but hopefully she’ll forgive him a little transition time.
In the meantime, I guess I’m going to have to get used to being a Mrs.
Am I the only one who doesn’t want to be a Mrs.? What do your kids call your friends or their friends’ parents?