The other mother

by DaniGirl on September 1, 2005 · 9 comments

in Uncategorized

Maybe this is just a thing that 19-month-old kids do. Maybe it’s a genetic tendency in our family. But I can’t help taking it personally.

Simon calls both Beloved and I “mama” interchangeably.

Now, I must admit straight out that I’ve called him by his brother’s name possibly more often than I’ve used his name correctly. I’m most likely to call him “Trst-Simon!” and his brother “Si-Tristan!” Why the right child’s name is never on the tip of my tongue I have no idea. And although my Granny only had three grandchildren, I don’t think she once got the right name out of her mouth the first time. Even Tristan exhibits signs of this odd disorder, often calling out “Daddy! um — Mommy!” as he processes who is most likely to be within hearing range. It’s obviously a familial tendency to misname the people we love.

So it hardly seems surprising that Simon has come up with his own solution to the problem and calls both Beloved and I “mama”. But it bugs me. I put in a lot of effort eliciting those couple of syllables. After I spent months and months of suggesting “Mama” to each of his happily babbled “Da-da-da”s, it seems he is now overcompensating.

I’d like to think that Beloved staying home with the boys all summer while I worked had nothing to do with this, but of course it has everything to do with it. I’m quite sure the only reason it bothers me is that I’m already insecure about my role in the family. Simon’s got it figured out that the one who spends the day at home with the children gets to be Mummy.

So do I at least get to be Daddy? Nope, that’s what he calls Tristan. He is one confused toddler. At least he gets the dog’s name right on a regular basis.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nancy September 1, 2005 at 1:04 pm

For months it was the opposite for me, my name was Da-da from 12 months till about – well, I still often get called Daddy, but at least now they ‘usually’ correct themselves.
Don’t take it personally Dani, take it as a compliment!!! Simon just has his priorities right.

2 Dean Dad September 1, 2005 at 1:52 pm

The Boy does that with us, too. He’ll call me Mama, and The Wife dad, and not even bother to correct himself. The Wife stays home and I don’t, so I don’t think that’s the critical variable.
Honestly, I think it’s a good sign. It means he’s comfortable enough with both of us that he doesn’t get too conscious of which one he’s with. If Tristan and Simon are comfortable with both you and Beloved, you’re doing something right.

3 Barb September 1, 2005 at 2:02 pm

We have just gone through the stage of using our first names. No mommy or daddy, it was Barb and Gerry coming from Josee. I was getting ready to lose it, but we are back to normal now.
When we were growing up there were 3 of us and my mother would get frustrated and say “BarbaraMichaelMarcy, whichever one you are, get over here” and according to Gerry his mother might get through 6 or 7 (of the 12) before she got the right child!
I’m sure this too will pass

4 Robin September 1, 2005 at 2:51 pm

Grant called me and everyone else on Gods green earth “Mommy” at first I thought it was cute and then I was just plain ticked. It’s my name and I did not want to share it with anyone else. But, thankfully he got over it in about 6 months. πŸ˜‰ Now I am the only “Mommy”. But, that has also changed after our trip to the south (Florida is the south right?) he as taken to calling me Mama. Which I love. πŸ˜‰
Oh and one more thing. I call my beautiful baby girl Grant all the time.

5 Snack Mommy September 1, 2005 at 4:12 pm

Heck, I would have been happy if my late-talker called me Fred at 19 months!

6 Danigirl September 1, 2005 at 5:36 pm

Jeez, a girl can’t even feel sorry for herself around here – you guys make me laugh out loud!!
Thanks, again (and again, and again)
xo Dani

7 UberGeek September 1, 2005 at 6:28 pm

Give it another decade and I think you will be surprised at all the other terms he will think up to refer to you as.

8 BeachMama September 1, 2005 at 8:37 pm

Athough I find it kinda cute myself, I can’t complain because right now I do get called “Mommy” or “Mummy” where as Daddy is getting called “Mummy-Daddy” and it is killing him!
It’s rather fun for me πŸ˜‰

9 Running2Ks September 2, 2005 at 2:35 am

I agree that it sounds like a compliment!

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