Follow The Stir

Mom Interrupted

Mom Moment

Mahna Mahna, Hurr Durr & the Slow Clap: Our Most Ridiculous Family Rituals

by Linda Sharps on December 11, 2012 at 8:14 AM

I'm going to admit something right up front: this is one of those posts where the actual content is really just an elaborate lead-up to reading your comments, because I'm far more interested in what you have to say than documenting my own blather. The topic is family rituals, and I want to hear all about yours.

By "family rituals" I mean the completely silly, difficult-to-describe things you and your family do or say on a regular basis. The secret language you share. The dumb dances, the awful singing, the nicknames, the comical expressions -- all of it. I was thinking about this recently when I asked my friends on Twitter if their families had a specific thing they did when they drove through tunnels, and it turns out that almost EVERYONE does.

So let's share ours, because it's the holiday season and it's fun to talk about good-feeling family stuff instead of focusing on shopping and whether or not that Shelf Elf is a minion of Satan. I'll go first:

The tunnel thing. Whenever we drive through a tunnel, all of us make animal noises until we come out the other end. Then, one by one, everyone shouts, "Oh! Not a [cow] [wolf] [kitten] [moose] anymore!"

Our version of saying grace. Before dinner, we chant, "Good food, good meat, good grief, let's eat! Teeeeeaaaam SHARPS!" Then we fistbump around the table.

The slow clap. If one of us does something worthy of a sarcastic response, we clap for them. You know, like this: Clap. Clap. Clap. Because in our family, we value snarkiness over manners, I guess.

"This ain't Disneyland!" What, you think this is Disneyland? is my husband's standard response to any child who isn't doing what they were told to do. "Get your seatbelt on, you think this is Disneyland? And you, stop kicking my seat, this isn't Disneyland!" One of these days we will actually go to Disneyland and the children will be so disappointed.

Making a sandwich. When all four of us hug each other, we pretend that we're each a sandwich ingredient. "I'm the turkey!" my 4-year-old squeaks, from the bottom of the pile. "I'm the lettuce!" says my 7-year-old. "I'm the tomato!" I say. "And I'm the mayonnaise," my filthy husband says in my ear.

Sunday night AFV. We are religious about watching America's Funniest Home Videos each week, an activity that involves the kids reenacting the falling scenes on the living room carpet: "And then he went like this: DONK!!"
Mahna Mahna. Somewhere along the line, the "Mahna Mahna" song became our version of Rickrolling. The way it works is this: you tell someone a fib designed to freak them out, and as soon as they react, you shout, "Mahna Mahna! Doot DOO di doo doo!" My 7-year-old did a great one a couple weeks ago when he called his father, and panicked over the phone that the toilet was filling with water and wouldn't stop. My husband: "But ... wait, is your mom--? Can you-- TELL HER TO TURN OFF THE WATER!!!!" Haaaaaa, mahna mahna.

Hurr Durr. To understand why all four of us sing/shout, "Hurr durr durr durr durr durr durr durr durrr, hurr durr DURR, hurt durr DURR" whenever someone does something silly, you'll have to hear a very annoying song. It's -- now, don't go clicking this link without turning down your speakers, okay? -- here.

Okay, quid pro quo, friends -- what funny/weird/silly/stupid rituals does your family have?

Image via Linda Sharps

Filed Under: family


  • Estel...


    December 11, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Those are some handsome little devils!


  • Evaly...


    December 11, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    we have afv night too! LOL

  • Emily
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 11, 2012 at 9:17 AM
    When some one in our family has messy hair we tell them they have cookalala hair. When it's Christmas I decorate a big ceramic fish we have and put presents under that - and call it Christmas fish. When we were first married we couldn't afford a tree so we used the fish. Now we have both :).
  • poshkat


    December 11, 2012 at 9:20 AM
    Whenever someone walks into a room at my house or mil's house and says mana mana you hear at least 2 people sing back doo doo doo doo doo!! We also slow clap.
  • Daune
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 11, 2012 at 9:42 AM
    Every time my 12 year old Ella says 'Guess what?' I yell 'Chicken Butt!' And she yells back 'French Fries!'
  • nikki...


    December 11, 2012 at 10:16 AM
    On birthdays, my family decorated in middle of the night. The birthday recipient would pretend to be sleeping as they were covered with streamers in their bed. The next morning they'd wake up "surprised" but it was really that our birthday was all about us growing up. My mom would also hide the Easter baskets in really weird places like in the dryer or oven or behind the tv. It was always a scavenger hunt Easter morning. Our bunny didn't just hide the eggs. I'm intent on keeping my personal family traditions alive and well. Now that we have a baby I want every holiday to be special for her.
  • April
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 11, 2012 at 10:17 AM
    Whenever we go through a tunnel we honk the horn. I can't remember why, but the kids get pissed if we don't. We have The Walking Dead night. Yeah. I'm a horrible parent.
  • k
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM
    DO NOT CLICK on that horrible, horrible "hurr durr durr" link. It would NOT stop and it totally screwed up & hijacked my computer. It took repeated tries to force quit safari before I could get it off the computer. Please take that link down so that other people will not be hijacked!
  • 1likeme


    December 11, 2012 at 10:48 AM
    When there is a song on the radio that my kids don't like they sing the word fart to the tune. Just a constant stream of the word fart. Then I turn up the music to drown them out and they in turn sing louder. This continues until our ear drums bleed.

    We also tell you momma jokes. Everytime I tell one they all say "you are talking about yourself" and we laugh and laugh.
  • C
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM
    I second the comment about the "Hurr Durr" link. It locked up the browser and it took FOREVER to get my computer restarted.
1-10 of 15 comments

To leave a comment, log in as a CafeMom member:

Log In

OR, use our non-member comment form: