After a full 17 months of trying unsuccessfully to get Roo to call me Ima, the Hebrew word for Mom, we spend 3 days with a friend and her almost-2-year-old and he decides that I’m Mommy.

He’s being saying Mama for a month or so, and we weren’t sure if he was calling us both Mama, or if he meant NSG and it was another symptoms of the recent Mamas. Not only is he now saying Mommy, he’s clearly differentiating us by name. This morning he slept till 7:15 (please pause while the angels sing a hallelujah chorus) and then called for Mommy and waved when I walked in. Oh, the cuteness.

So do I just go with it, or keep working on Ima?

Anyway, Happy New Year. The obligatory New Year’s Day post is coming.


9 Responses to Mommy

  1. shirky says:

    anything is better than your name being [Ear-Splitting Shriek] right?

  2. Clementine says:

    I love this! If you’re okay with Mommy, then maybe Mommy you shall be. At least he’s not calling you by your first name, eh? On a related topic, Hester calls me Mama and calls Petunia, her Mumzy, “Mum Mum.” I find that now I’m saying Mum Mum instead of Mumzy, too.

  3. Susan says:

    How much does it bother you? Usually, I think people should get to be called what they want, and if you work on Ima, he’ll pick it up, most likely. Curious Girl went through a phase of calling Politica Mimi rather than Mommy, (but then got into Mommy just fine and then (around 3) wanted to call me Mom, not Mama, which I definitely did not like. So I just insisted on Mama (and spent a week not responding to Mom). So now, sometimes, when we’re pretending, she’ll say, “Can you be my Mom in the game?” and I”ll say “sure, for the game.” Politica is now turning into Mom, and she’s totally fine with that.

    So you need to think about how much it means to you to be Ima or whether Mommy is something that feels OK b/c he picked it.

    What is NSG?

  4. Erin says:

    I’m sure he’ll pick it up at some point if you keep doing it, though he may very well go back and forth a lot. P calls me Mama, Mommy, Mom, Mama Dama, and sometimes, when he’s feeling particularly silly, Daddy Erin (and then he calls my husband Mama J). If I’d introduced Ima at some point, I’m sure he would have incorporated that as well.

    And hooray that he called out for you specifically!

  5. Jenn says:

    Not being a parent I don’t really have any input on what you should do but the story about him calling for you specifically and waving is SO SWEET.

  6. lothyn says:

    Naming in queer families can be so fraught! In our house, we asked important grown-ups to decide what they want to be called, and are trying to teach our son to respect those choices. (also goes for other kinds of less-ambiguous name-calling. I.e. people may not call one another derogatory names, people may only be called by names that they are comfortable with).
    This was for two reasons:
    1. there are a number of trans people in our lives, and sometimes names change. It is the name-bearer who gets to decide, not the name-callers.
    2. Any future siblings would not have the opportunity to decide what parents or grandparents would be called, and it’s important to me to be fair to younger sibs. (not that it couldn’t be fair somehow — nothing to say that future children would use the same names, or that anyone would remember where the name came from. . . it was just one way that we came up with).

    I am constantly fascinated by how other families navigate naming. whatever happens, we are inventing new and exciting language! I can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you.

  7. Lo says:

    I think it really depends on how you personally feel about being called “Mommy” and whether that particular moniker has any connotations for you.

    I am “Mama,” and I really want to be “Mama”….I don’t know how I would feel if Jo decided to call me something else. It would depend on what he decided to call me. For example, I *don’t* like “Ima” (it’s my own personal drama) and would probably discourage it for that reason. But if he came up with something like “Mum Mum” (from previous commenter), I’d be charmed that he gave me my own special name.

    and as others said, glad he called for *you*!!

  8. shannon says:

    I wanted to be Mama and Cole wanted to use our names. So we compromised with Mama Shannon and Cole-mom, each of us putting the preference in front figuring she’d drop the second part if anything.

    Now she calls me “Shannon.” I will say “What’s my name?” and she’ll dutifully say, “Mama Shannon” then go “Shannon,” the very next second to get my attention.

    I wouldn’t care that much except when she does it in public it really bothers me, because I worry that given the racial mismatch, people will not believe I’m her parent if it ever becomes important to make that clear.

    I go back and forth on whether to correct her. I know that she delights in teasing me, so I resolve to ignore it. Then I decide it’s important that she get it “right” and start drilling her again.

    I imagine when she begins spending more time with kids who call their parents various things, she’ll reconsider. Right now, her friends mostly don’t use parent names when they play.

  9. shelli says:

    Malka didn’t cop to “Eemah” until well after 20 months or so.

    We were both emommy, hey you, with the food, screech, and the rest.
    But she now CLEARLY calls ME Eemah, and Narda Mommy.

    SO keep at it.

    And keep me posted as to if you ever share the new address… we’ll miss you.

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