Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Use Your Words

I've never been a big fan of the word "mommy" employed by anyone who is not referring to their own maternal unit. I don't use the word to describe myself in adult conversation. I skeeve when others do it. I think it's because, in my own eyes, that's not what I am. In my own voice, that's not me. I have a child, yes. I am her mother. I feed her and clean her and do the dishes while she wraps her arms around my knees and says "hug, hug!"

It's in The Boss's big, blue eyes that I am "mommy."

Today at lunchtime she was eating egg and bread. "Mommy!" she said, fried white hanging out of her mouth. "Mommy!" She looked to the window. She looked at the dog. Her eyes darted from side to side as if she was searching for someone. "Mommy?"

"I'm right here!" I laughed. I pointed to myself with an emphatic finger to the chest. "I'm your mommy!"

She started to giggle along with me as she poked a stubby finger into the bib of her denim overalls. "Mommy!" She geared up, poking harder at herself and repeating "mommy, mommy."

"No, silly! I'm mommy!" I leaned in to rub noses and she slapped the tray of her high chair, all spastic and happy.

Yesterday, at the supermarket, I'd wander away from her cart to shove some chicken in a plastic baggie or to crouch down low to see which picante sauce was the cheapest. I'd hear the familiar screech of The Boss as she gibbered into mommy-mode. "Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mommmmmmeeeee!" It wasn't a needy cry. It wasn't demanding. It was a happy exercise of the voice box that she occasionally switched up with a "Hi!" as other shoppers walked by.

Just as her overzealous use of the word "baby" left me a bit confused as to what the word actually meant to her, I don't know how "mommy" fits into her comprehension. It seems always to come back to discovery and identity, two issues that are never clear. So, I'll just sit back, or lean in for a kiss, and let the m-word babble wash over me without too many questions.

And, remember, it's only cute when she says it.


Alisyn said...

I can't hang with "mommy." I don't know why, but I haaaaate it. Mama? Fine. Mom? Cool. Alisyn? No problem. But Mommy sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me.


T. said...

So it must really annoy you to come and see me over at my blog eh?

Don't worry, I have issues with that word myself. (Partly why I chose it!) My kids call me Mom...or Supreme Leader of The Free World...which ever is easiest at the time.

I really hate that word when Boo uses it (specially in the bedroom...!)

Kidding. Or am I?

lildb said...

Reading a blog post is almost paranormally satisfying when I can relate on such an intrinsic level as I do to such a one as this (and this is almost always true of your posts, interestingly).