Sunday, September 8, 2013

What's In A Name?

I've always been happy with the standard American name "Mama" from my children. It's a soft sort of name, and it sounds so on their soft little voices.

For the last two weeks, F referred to me exclusively as "Mother" (pronounced MUH-ver). At first, being called "Mother" really grated on my nerves, I guess because I'm so accustomed to it having some sort of sarcastic connotation. She wasn't sarcastic. I wondered if it came from watching too much Sound of Music or Mary Poppins on our Sing Along videos (we totally rock the VHS around here). When pressed, F said she did it because Aye the otter asked her to.

Over time, I got used to it. I was getting fond of it, even. Slightly formal, slightly eccentric, my new moniker was like a little microcosm of our family encapsulated in one sweet little word. I was almost proud of it, mostly because it was so funny.

This morning, that all changed. At the park with her friends, we were surrounded by never ending "MOMMY!" and "MAMA" at high pitched squeals meant to travel across a playground the size of two baseball diamonds. Really, it was more charming than it sounds, but before we'd been there 10 minutes, I hear F's voice belt out from across the way "MY MOMMY!" in at attempt to summon me.

And it stuck. All day she's been calling me "My Mommy," even when we're alone.

I tried explaining that no one else we know calls their mother "Mother," so that would be enough to distinguish it among the playground chorus. F just looked at me and laughed.

"You are 'My Mommy.'" she said.

"But you were calling me 'Mother' yesterday. You could still call me 'Mother' now. "

"I don't think so. I told you already, I called you that because Aye asked me to." F clearly thought I was being incredibly slow on the uptake.

"You could still do it today, though..."

"That silly My Mommy. I'll never call you that again."And off she ran to find the giant red ball that had just been blown across the field by a gust of wind.

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