Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Mommy by any other name

My two boys had speech delays. Neither of them really started talking until well after they were two, and I spent more time praying and worrying that they would never talk than I can tell you. I practiced with them, sitting in front of them in their high chairs and car seats saying things like "Say 'Mama.' Come on, baby, say 'Mama.' If you just say 'Mama,' I'll buy you a car. Come on, big boy. Come on..." To this day, I can't believe how abysmally stupid I was to offer to buy my kid a car if he had said "Mama." I mean, really.

Then, all of the sudden, they were talking. And they didn't stop. THEY JUST. DIDN'T. STOP.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Nobody ever told me that "Mommy" would ever be anything other than the most blessed word in the English language.

Raise your hands if you've seen the Family Guy skit with Stewie standing by the bed where Lois is lying, and he calls out "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Momma! Momma!" etc. until she raises up and screams "WHAT?!" right in his face.

Now raise your hands if you've had a moment (or fifty) like that.

Wow. That's a sea of hands.

I never daydreamed that the sound of my child calling my name would make me want to tear out my hair and scream "MY NAME IS NOT MOMMY, MY NAME IS ANYTHING BUT MOMMY, CALL ME JOAN. CALL ME BEULAH. CALL ME ZUUL FOR CHRISSAKE, BUT DON'T CALL ME MOMMY!!" But, alas, there are days...

"Mommy, what's for supper?"
"Mommy, Charlie took my toy!"
"Mommy, I want something to drink."
"Hey, Mommy, are you trying to be private while you go to the potty?"
"Whatcha doing, Mommy?" (this is especially grating after being asked and answered for the 84,000th time.)
"Mommy, can I _________?"
"But, Mooooommyyyyyy I don't WAAAAANNAAAA take a baaaaaath!"
"Mommy! KatieBug BREEEATHED on me!"


At the time I was practically begging my children to say "Mama," I had no inkling that I might one day be internally sobbing and begging my children to shut up. None. If you had told me that hearing "Mommy" all day every day would be like Chinese water torture, I would have pshawed you. I believed to the depths of my hopeful little soul that hearing my angelic little children say the word "Mommy" would open the heavens and cherubs would play harps and my heart would fill with love and Israelis & Palestinians would hug each other in peaceful embrace and all would just be right with the world. And, to be honest, the first couple of times they said it, it was like that. But damned if it didn't quickly turn into a word that almost is like a death knell for peace and quiet. I know now when I hear someone holler "Mommy!" from the next room, especially with that tone, shit's about to get real. Mommy'd better put on her bitch pants, here comes trouble.

And then you have moments like about 45 minutes ago, when my two-year-old came running up to me for no reason at all, caught me in a huge tacklehug, kissed me in a disgustingly messy peanut-butter coated kiss, and said "I love you too, Mommy!"

Awh, dammit. He made me love the word again.


  1. Lol. I am at that point of having the 26 month old that can't / won't talk. Am I really going to regret it when he does start talking? great blog post.


    1. My Charlie is 31 months and just starting to talk intelligibly. (He had some hearing loss that we just had corrected surgically through tubes not too long ago.) Sometimes hearing him talk after waiting so long is like a miracle. He'll say something and it's the most beautiful sound in the the softest bells in the world chiming in his voice.

      Then there are other times. Like this morning when he burst into the bathroom while I was know...taking care of girl things, and said "Oh! Mommy has a booboo!" Then he runs out and yells "DADDY! Mommy has booboo! KISS IT ALL BETTER!"

      ...Those times I wish devoutly for a ball gag.

    2. Oh wow, that's awesome. Well Logan is enrolled in speech therapy that is going to start in August, so we'll see how that goes.

      Your kids sound hilarious, by the way.


    Your post made me snort, as you heard, since we were on the phone.


    Bug's vocabulary is over double what the average is for a kid her age, which you'd think would mean less moaning and whinging and more clear communication of wants and needs.'d think.

    What it really means, most of the time, is more whinging, more begging, more demanding, and more sass-back.

    And then there are entire days when she just jabbers - just talks to hear herself talk. Nobody ever told me there would come a time when I wouldn't find my daughter's jabbering adorable, but on those days I would claw my own ears off for five minutes of peace and quiet!