I also called him Daddy-O, Mr. Miller when he annoyed me, Dad and of course, Daddy when I wanted to borrow his truck or empty his pockets of cash.
These days it doesn’t matter what I call him, he can’t hear me half the time anyways because he refuses to get his hearing checked. Stubborn old fart.
My dad isn’t just Dad anymore, but Grandpa now too, thanks to the fact sand has poured through the hourglass of time and I am now a parent to children of my own always trying to pick my pockets empty of cash.
The difference between my kids and myself? They never call me Mommy while attempting to manipulate me. In fact, they don’t call me Mommy at all. Like, ever.
Somewhere, amongst the blink of time, the term Mommy has died, to be replaced simply with the steadfast and boring Mom, occasionally Mrs. Miller when they are annoyed with me and not often enough, Oh Captain, My Captain.
Where has Mommy gone?
I hadn’t even noticed its absence from our vernacular until my son dropped a ‘mommy’ bomb on me recently.
“What did you just call me?” I asked my 14-year-old son who is over six feet tall.
He blinked at me, like an owl, probably wondering what craziness I was prattling about this time and then repeated, “Mommy?”
I couldn’t help it. I cracked up.
I used to be a mommy, and to my youngest, the Jumbster, I will always be his mommy, but to my teenagers? I don’t know, but I think I stopped being their mommy around the same time they started understanding math concepts I never will.
All of a sudden it seems ridiculous and weird to have my child call me “Mommy.”
I half expected him to ask me to cut his meat up for him and call me to the bathroom to help wipe his bum.
But when my man-cub towers over me and officially sports a thicker moustache than I do, it just seems odd to have him refer to me by the name he used to when he didn’t know which hand was left and which hand was right.
I saved locks of my children’s hair, their baby teeth (I want to make a necklace out of them to wear the day they graduate from high school) and a pile of artwork and photographs documenting the history of their childhood.
But I rather wish I had taken the time to savour the moments when they could call me mommy without me thinking they sounded ridiculous.
But then again, I also wish I had taken the time to appreciate how thin and perky I looked when I was 21 and wish I had spent more time wearing a bikini than those hideous oversized denim overalls I thought looked cool. You know what they say about youth being wasted on the young. Apparently the same can be said for the early parenthood years.
“Look kid, I love being your mom, and I’m always going to be your mother, but really, call me Mommy again and I will totally post that picture of the time you accidentally spray painted your man-junk bright red when you were three.”
My son looked at me for a second, remembered said photo, shuddered and said, “Deal. MOM.”
And then he wandered off muttering something about me being mommy dearest.