Monday, July 19, 2010

A Mama by any other name...

Names are not always what they seem. The common Welsh name BZJXXLLWCP is pronounced Jackson."
~Mark Twain

   You know, I have known a lot of people in my forty six years..and I've been called many things-most of them good.  Until my early twenties, I was called "Kathy"..which I hate..always have.  I am so not a" Kathy".  If anyone reading this happens to be one-I mean no disrespect.  It is just that "Kathy" brings up images of perky, sweet, fun loving "gals" of which I am not. No! I am hyperactive and sarcastic..pithy and  Just so you know, Kathleen wouldn't' have been  my first choice of names either-it was the only acceptable alternative that I could think of.  I mean really, I couldn't imagine getting anyone to call me "Queen Cool" or "Wonder chick" (not that I haven't tried) Kathleen it is.

  There are only four people in the world who call me "Mama"..and yet, if there were a count to be is the one thing I have been called more than anything else. Just this morning the word "Mama" has been used in forty zillion different ways.."Mama I'm hungry" "Mama can I have a turn on the computer" "Mama can I have a snack?" "Mama The dogs are doing that weird thing to each other again" "Mama can you get me this?" "Mama can you get me that?" "Mama?  Mama??? MAMA!!!!!" sigh..."Mama why are you sitting in the empty bathtub with clothes on?"  "Oh I like the feel of the cold tiles against my face when my head hurts.." "Does your head hurt Mama?" "No..I'm o.k."  "Then why are you sitting there" "I don't know" "Oh...Mama? can we have lunch?'

  I am really not complaining. I can't.  There was a time not to long ago, when I would have given anything to hear my boys say "Mama". Sammy spoke very early, but at around twelve months his language slowly went away..and was gone completely by the time he was eighteen months old. Oscar did not speak until he was four-and even then it was only with very few words . I wasn't sure if either would ever be able to verbalize. I did not know what the future held.  Should we teach them sign language, use pecs..perhaps a talking machine? We had accepted the idea that they might remain non verbal. We made plans...we would do whatever we could to help them  And yet,.and yet drifting around in the back of my mind was the thought..the WANT.. to hear them just once say "Mama" .So simple..and so complicated. I was ashamed for feeling that way. Acceptance means acceptance..right?  sigh...I have learned since to cut myself some slack.  That motherhood isn't the equivalent of stoicism(at least most of the time). I am allowed to mourn for things that might never happen. It is what one does with those feelings that matters.

  The other night Sammy made a decision..he told us "I'm almost a young man..I'm going to start calling you "Mom" and "Dad" now...o.k.?" I had noticed that he had already started doing this at school..calling me "Mom" in front of his friends..I could accept that...but this?  No!  "Sammy..I am so not a "Mom"..if you want to use that at school is one thing...but at home???? Ick.."  Omar wasn't thrilled either.."Sammy, I still call MY father "Papa"  it is the way we say "dad" in French" ..."But I'm almost a young man..and this is what I want to call you." sigh.."Sammy, can't you think of something else to call us.."Mom" just doesn't suit could call us "Mother and Father" "  "No, I like "Mom and Dad"" ..."How about "Queen cool" ?" "What??" "Or "Princess wonderful" " .."Mama! I'm being serious!" "Fine bud..if that's what you want to call us-go ahead...but then I'm going to have to call you "Son"." "O.K....goodnight Mom...goodnight Dad"  "Goodnight Son....of princess wonderful! hahahahaha"  "Mama!!!"  "That's my name.."

Note: This post was inspired (as most of my posts are) by my kids.  This week, some of what I discussed was inspired by this wonderful post by Kim.  I think it would be well worth your while to go read it. Thanks Kim. :)


Kim Wombles said...

Awww, I enjoyed this post, as always, Princess wonderful (I like that!); you had me giggling, and then I got to the end and you had me all choked up. :-)

Clay said...

It's really not my business, but I think "Mom and Dad" are fine. Shows that he's growing up, is all, he doesn't want to use words that sound less mature. YMMV.

kathleen said...

Thanks Kim-I like the name "princess wonderful" as well...sad to say...the kids don't agree..:)

Hi Clay-I always value your opinion. You are absolutely correct..He's testing the waters of adulthood..and he is trying to remember to use "Mom" and "Dad"..and we are proud of him...sometimes though requesting "Cool Chick" or "Princess wonderful" takes the sting out of watching them grow up..even though that is what we want..still kind of bittersweet. He is a wonderful boy..well a wonderful almost young man..

Jen said...

My son calls me Mama and it is the most precious thing because I was a long time waiting for it. He also lost his words just after the age of one and we didn't know if he would get them back.

I am liking 'Queen Cool' for you myself, not sure you are a 'Mom' but Mom isn't big in Ireland anyway so I am not used to it:)

I can't find an email address on your profile, would it be very cheeky of me to ask you to email me? Nothing scary, I promise.


jazzygal said...

Mama is so cute Kathleen...but I kinda like the fact that Sammy has made such a decision! So grown up!

Like Jen says, Mom isn't big in Ireland...although a lot of Irish kids on the spectrum do speak with American accents so "Mom" might be used in those cases.

In Ireland it's mammy or mummy if you're posh! I remember Wiiboy going from "mammy" to mum (sometimes he sounds it like Mom)...again, like your Sammy in front of his pals! I could cope with Mum...but not mummy...hey, I'm a northsider even if I now live south side! (means north side of Dublin..big north/south thing here!!)

I've noticed lately that Wiiboy has on occasion reduced mum to that old northside version...."Ma" that I will NOT allow!!!

Whatever you're called kathleen your real name will always be Queen THAT's a name!

xx Jazzy

kathleen said...

Hi Jen..will go on over and get your email.."Cheeky" makes me laugh..

Hi Jazzy-your wii boy makes me laugh..he is so very wonderful.I am thinking seriously of changing it to Queen cool..and I have had Oscar calling me princess wonderful for a few days now...he likes how it do I :)

Yes-my boy is growing up.."Mamma" is more common in the southern states but I have found that quite a few people use it up here as well..French is one of Omar's languages..and he calls his parents "Papa" and Mamon" he doesn't understand Sammy wanting to change it...but he accepts it..:0

Floortime Lite Mama said...

you are soooo funny princess wonderful

kathleen said...

thanks K-floortime..:) Love your blog too..

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Big Daddy said...

Great post. I still remember when my son, who is on the spectrum, first called me daddy when he was almost three.

kathleen said...

Hi Big Daddy-(I like saying that- it has a ring to it) :) Thanks..yeah..first words are amazing aren't they.