"Hey Mom, can I ask you something?"
Young Son initiates probably 80% of his conversations with me using one of those phrases or variations thereof. And if I don't respond in some way, he'll ask again and politely wait for a response before getting to the heart of the matter.
That's a whole lot of grunting required on my part.
Not sure what I can do to stem the flow, but I can only hope the habit fades before he hits the job market.