Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Whole What-to-Call-Ourselves Debate: Solved [Maybe]

I wonder if the girls know their names. Sometimes I will call “Avery” and Avery will look up at me and I think, she knows. Then I will look at Avery and say “Madeline” and Avery will look at me, and I think, she’s confused. And then I will say something like “Yellow bucket” and she looks up at me and I think, she’s clueless.

Maybe Nicole and I both being “mommy” confused them. This is how heretofore we both referred to each other. Surely they will be able to ascertain that two separate objects can have the same name, right? Maybe not.

We’ll see if it sticks, but right now Nicole is “Mommy” and I am “Momma.” We still mess it up sometimes but we are getting better at referring to each other as such. I think part of me wanted “mommy” because it seems like the kinder, gentler name. Mommy bakes cupcakes with you; Momma keeps you locked in the attic with no food. (Hello, influence of Flowers in the Attic). Plus, I never really like Momma because I had a grandmother named that who was not a nice person. Not nice at all.

On the other hand I wanted to say “mommy” because I never did. Maybe that seems twisted? Calling my girlfriend Mommy? Have a field name with that one. I never called my mom “mommy” or my father “daddy.” Well, I guess maybe I did when I was young but I don’t remember. Mom has always been mom and dad has always been dad. And my parents refer to each other as “your mother” and “your father.” So formal, and always with a pronoun. I was always envious of people whose parents referred to the other parent without a pronoun. Anyway, I like the idea of being able to say, at a baby hand-off, for example, “Go to Mommy, Avery.” It feels like capturing a little of my own childhood in a bizarre way. Or maybe I should say creating my own childhood, because recapturing is not what I want to do.

The good thing about being Momma is the girls will say my name first!

So on American Idol last night that little boy I’m Loving Angels Instead, which really pissed me off. Well, maybe I should say it took me down a dark road because that was the song I played on loop on my iPod as I walked across town to have my second D&C (and little I know that there was a twin in my tube). Why that song, when I have thousands to choose from, I don’t know. I was crying and in pain (physical and emotion) and looked like a mess. As I walked through the heart of Midtown, more than one dapper man and distinguished woman gave me concerned looks. That song is now tied to a period of much pain. So I don’t want to hear it ever again. Thanks, tiny Idol singer.

The body image poll is starting to tip into the negative, which I thought would happen. Why do so many of us women look in the mirrors and not like what we see? I wish the positives could teach us negatives how they do it.

Pictured above, dinner, all over their faces. Last night I mixed spinach with ricotta, melted mozzarella on a tortilla, slapped another tortilla on top and cut it all up into bite-size chunks. They loved it. I then made a tortilla sandwich with cheddar and avocado. They loved that too. Of course, all that can change on a dime….


psapph0 said...

All of the children at my school call their mothers , "Mama." Mom and Mommy are sounds that don't really figure properly into their language, and it always sounds really cute. The first "a" almost has a "u" sound they way they say it, with the stress on "Mum" and then a short "o" sound, as in octopus, at the end. Almost Mumah...

Can you tell how much time I spend each day trying to translate phonetic sounds from one language to another?

BA said...

Aww - I remember the days of the baby being covered in dinner (although sometimes he still is and he's 2). It makes you wonder how much they actually get in their mouth! :)

K J and the kids said...

I am mama because as selfish as it sounds it was her first word.
We had discussed it previous...but I knew that it would be before mommy and agreed to take it.
Now that she's getting older....I want mommy :)

Cute pictures.

Katy said...

I'm a mommy, partner to a momma. We still mix it up all the time, but our 3yo corrects us (and other people!)

Also - as a positive body image person (most of the time) I just remind myself that everybody is somebody's goal weight. Somebody out there would LOVE to have my body, even though I think the same thing of somebody smaller than me.

And I'm 5'8" - about 170, so not a small person.

MsPrufrock said...

I insisted from the start that I wanted to be called Mama, as for me it sounds earth-mothery, which is kind of me. Er, sometimes anyway.

P also calls me "mummy", and when distressed, "mimmy" for some odd reason. I don't envy you for the issue of titles for both mums at this age. I'm sure they'll catch on soon enough though!


Interesting. Right now we discussing what the babies might refer to us day too. My partner has nabbed "mommy." So I am calling myself "Mamma." I can't keep thinking about that horrible movie- Big Momma's house. So I am a cross-dressing big momma. Ugh.


Oh - I should add- not that there is anything wrong with being a transgenered or cross-dresser. Just the thought of me as Martin scary

judy said...

I just wrote on my blog about body image. It is interesting that you have a poll up about this.
Quoted from my blog today. " I just went for another run while listening to Eckhart Tolle. I was blown away with his thoughts on body image being purely about ego. He goes on to imply that the energy we waste thinking negetively (or positively) is our ego trying to keep us fixated on how we are seen, when in the end our body is not who we are. We are much more than the physical self and to get stuck in the rut of thinking otherwise is literally wasting our precious moments of life"

Anonymous said...

Here's my theory. Mommy is the most loving, wonderful, gentle soul, a safe place to cuddle, and everything 'Mommy' is rainbows and hugs...and you see all that, through little girls' eyes, in Nicole.

So maybe, when you say, "Go to Mommy", you're really saying it from a completely healthy and generous place in your heart, that truly loves Nicole and sees in her the Mommy your little girls deserve...the Mommy you would special-order if you could...the Mommy who is going to enrich their lives in just the rights ways, in just the ways you have always hoped a true Mommy would.

I don't think it's creepy. I think you have a generous heart and maybe it's that, even though it couldn't happen TO you (having the picture-perfect Mommy), you really do seem glad that you have had a hand in "hand picking" the perfect Mommy for your two angels.

Gah. That sounds oh-so-hokey, I know! Forgive me! But I think it's true!

Melinda said...

Nothing to add to the mommy/mama discussion, but I felt you should know... those pictures just killed me dead. Seriously. I'm overwhelmed with the cute.

francesca said...

You could go the British/Canadian/Colonial way and be Mum! I still call mine 'Mums' but that switches up with madre.

Travelher and Pufferfish said...

I wanted to take your body image poll, but it's closed!
I'm a positive. I grew up with a very negative and at times in high school anorexic/bulimic.
Once I changed...oh, everything pretty much...I changed how I feel about myself and my body.

That included moving as far away from my family as possible, never eating anything I ate growing up, cutting out sugar and soda and working out instead of dieting.
I still have body issues and probably always will, but I'm happy with the way I look and live.