Tommaso Boddi/WireImage
June 26, 2015 07:50 PM

If you wanna be Mel B.‘s child, you gotta have mixed feelings about your mom!

When asked how her kids feel about her gig as a judge on America’s Got Talent, the former Spice Girl, 40, quipped that it’s “probably what they think of me in general – sometimes I’m really cool, and sometimes I’m really not to them!

Having a mom that hosts the megahit talent show does have its perks for Phoenix, 16, Angel, 8, and Madison, 3, especially with supermodel Heidi Klum as her co-host.

“They love coming on set and just hanging out with Heidi and her kids and pressing the odd red buzzer and just being with me,” she told PEOPLE at NBC’s Summer Press Day on Wednesday in New York City. “To them I m just Mom.”

But Mom has a dirty side – just ask judge Howie Mandel!

“When Howie talks, sometimes he just goes on and on and on, so I doodle inappropriate stuff on my pad,” she explained wryly. On Tuesday night’s show, NBC aired a shot of Mandel unknowingly holding up her illustration of breasts.

“Last season, I think he did it a lot, but there was something even more inappropriate that I’d drawn. You can only imagine what that was – the boys’ version!” she said, laughing.

Mandel texted her the next day, “Thank you. F— you.” Mel B. shot back, “Love you too!”

In all seriousness, she said she believes that the judges’ onscreen chemistry comes from their off-screen rapport: “We actually get on outside of work.”

AGT airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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