Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Once a Mama, Always a Mama

Dear Delilah,

It seems like it wasn't all that long ago that I read my friend Darlena's account of saying "Farewell" to "Mama". While reading about how her girls went from calling her "mama" to "mommy", I took comfort in the knowledge that her girls are nearly a year and a half older than you, taking for granted that I still had plenty of "mama" time to come. In response to her post, I commented:

This made me tear up! Does 'Mommy' really come so soon? I'll treasure 'mama' even more now, knowing her time here is limited!

Indeed, Mommy really does come so soon. It started last week, when you started referring to your father as "Daddy" instead of "Dada". That was to be expected though; you often hear me referring to him as your daddy, so it was only a matter of time before you started doing so yourself. Still, I didn't expect that 'Mommy' would be riding 'Daddy's' coat tails. Alas, 'Mommy' has arrived.

The first time, I thought you just misspoke. Then you repeated it, with even more conviction "Mommy!" I turned to Daddy, "Did she just call me Mommy?" "She sure did," he responded. The flood of Mommies that followed nearly drown me.

The truth is, I didn't get to hear "Mama" near as often as I'd like. When we are together, I'm nearby, and I do my best to read your cues and anticipate your needs, so it was rare for you call out for me when I was there. From what I've been told by your father and grandma, "Mama" was uttered much more often when I wasn't around, and you were asking for me. Still, I've always just thought that I'd always just be "Mama". Long before I had you, I had friends that referred to me as "Mama", because I apparently have a very nurturing Mama-esque presence. So really, even before I was a Mama, I was a Mama. And I'll always be your mama, just like you'll always be my baby.

Mama and Baby: 1 Year Ago

This particular transition is bittersweet. On the one hand, it's delightful that the novelty of the new word has you singing my praises (or my new name, at least) throughout the day. On the other hand, this is a step toward the very grown up and somehow flat sounding "Mom". I appreciate that you're easing me in gradually, throwing in a "mama" here and there as you sing-song "Mommy Mommy Mommy Mommy Mama Mommy Mommy Mama Mommy!" I hope that there is still some time left before Mama gets phased out entirely. Why? Because Mama has a little baby, but Mommy has a little kid, and Mama's not quite ready to give up her baby yet.



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  1. he he and soon enough it'll be just plain old mom :)

  2. Eliot calls me "Money." :\ He was calling me "Honey" at one point, and I tried to steer him towards "Mummy," and that's what he came up with.


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