Naming

RR still calls us both Mama (posts on that here and here*). Outside of that brief phase a year ago, she has resisted all attempts to assign us names. Unbelievably, people still try to get her to differentiate, mom. She is very adept at using inflection to interact with Debra and me and, if she fails to be understood, she goes with “other mama”.

That could be off-putting, maybe, but we are both other mama from time to time depending on any number of factors. I also think it’s in response to folks trying to help her differentiate while making crafts with our names on them, etc. We sign cards to her as Love, Mamas, we refer to ourselves as mamas, we are totally okay with receiving pictures addressed to mamas (or even one mama). My mother was helping her to make a valentine for us and RR steadfastly refused to differentiate. She finally caved and wrote MAMA and OTHER MAMA. She would not tell my mother who was who.

And that’s totally okay with me.

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*Note that RR has still not dropped the habit of occasionally adding a nonsense syllable to the back of a word. While MamaB and its variants evaporated not long after that post, we still sometimes hear tet-tet at the end of a word (or instead of a word.)

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7 Responses

  1. It’s RR’s world and you’re just living in it.

  2. Ching has always been Ma, but when he has to refer to me, I’m Ma, too. Every once in while he’ll even count us – one, two! Heh. That’s funny about tet-tet. Noah has said that forever (as a stand-alone phrase), less frequently now, and we’ve never known what it means.

  3. Tet tet is often standalone here, too. Weird!

  4. Good. For. Her. Stay strong, kiddo. I find this charming.

  5. Thing One does this as well. We refer to ourselves as Mommy and Mama but it apparently doesn’t matter, she still pretty much calls out “mama” no matter what and, when the wrong one of us answers, has taken to saying in an exasperated tone: “No, not YOU. The OTHER mama.” Excuse, the heck out of me, kid. Will be interesting to see what Pax grows up to do but good to know ours isn’t the only kid who does this!

  6. We don’t have our baby yet but I wonder what name he/she will pick for us. Thanks for the post. It settled my nerves about being called “the other mother.” Sounds like your child uses it interchangeably and that’s okay. 🙂 As long as I’m not always the other one. 🙂

    • I definitely had some early angst about being called anything other than the traditional mommy/mama/mom, etc. For me, it came from the non-gestational insecurity of the whole thing, though I know it isn’t like that for everyone. When she tossed out other mama the first time it was directed at me and I felt my breath catch a bit. Once I realized she was using it interchangeably, I relaxed.

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