Lately, Axel’s been calling me Mom – but only when he wants something, as in “Mom. Hey, hey Mom, can I watch a show?” Or the sing-song, “Hey, Mo-oom, I ne-eeed a sna–aaack.” Or, “But Mo-oom, I don’t want to go to bed!”
Of course, it’s an accurate term. I am his mom, his mother, his mama. It makes me all kinds of happy when one of this classmates sees me and calls out, “Axel, your mom’s here!” and he sprints over to give me a hug.
Jonas uses mom itself as a direct order, without any of the additional language. “No, Mom,” he likes to say, to one of his teachers – who is a mother, but not Jonas’ – pointing at her when he wanted her to change his diaper or help him with his coat, instead of one of the other teachers.
Mom, in our house, appears to be the kid version of a First Middle Lastname Get Your Behind in Here Right Now You Troublemaker yell. My boys use mama when they’re being sweet, which, thankfully, they are more often than they’re bossy.
My own lovely mother has her own personal mama nickname – Omis, which my brother and I started calling her 25 years ago and haven’t given up. Jonas, right now, has taken to calling her Bumpa. It’s amazing what a towheaded toddler can make cute. I wouldn’t mind at all if he called me Bumpa.
Elsa, my niece, speaks Spanish with her own mother (who’s from Sevilla), and uses mami. Mama, like mami, feels a little international, with a little bit of spunkiness, without the whiff of curlers in your hair and unflattering pants and bad haircuts that, unfortunately, have been linked to the word mom.
What about you? Are you Mom, Mama, Mum, Mami, or something else?