Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The artist formerly known as Mom

I take great pride in the fact that the first word Camden said was "Ma." It should have been his first word, considering how I drilled it into his tiny baby head. While Dad was naively at work, I was at home saying the word "Momma" over and over again hoping Cam would pick up on it. After all, wasn't it my right to have that be his first word after carrying him in my body for 9 months and for then spending an hour and a half trying to push his huge noggin out? I was well rewarded for all my efforts as "Ma" was his first word, which gradually evolved into "Momma."

It caused no small amount of distress for Mark that Camden didn't say "Dada" for the longest time. Camden would call my parental name again and again, but Daddy was left out in the cold. Feeling sorry for poor Mark, I worked on getting Camden to say "Dada." After a few months, he decided to add that to his vocabulary as well and life was good. Although Camden didn't call us by name often, the fact that he could call both of us by a proper name was a time of rejoicing for us.

Over the past few months, Camden has had a HUGE language explosion in both sign and speaking. And I was thrilled when somewhere along the line he learned to sign Mom and Dad, as well as say those words. But I've noticed over the past few weeks that something got lost. Apparently, Camden decided it was too much effort to call both of his parents by a separate name. Why have two names when one was good enough? It was just too much extra effort to keep two names for such seemingly interchangeable people. And can you guess which name he decided to drop? Yup, the one near and dear to my heart - "Momma."

I'm not sure when it happened, but I've noticed over the past few weeks that he says and signs "Daddy" repeatedly. Yes, he's even upgraded to the word "Daddy" for this. He does it when Mark is at work, when Mark is at home, when we're all together as a family. And at first I thought he was just stuck on Dad, which is ok. But then I realized he was using it to refer to both of us. I come out to pick him up from day care? He signs and yells "Daddy." He comes to see me at work? "Daddy" again. Mark will be at work and Camden will wander around the house shouting "Dad", "Dad", "Dad" until he finds me and then he stops.

Mark's noticed it too. I think he's secretly gloating in it, like I did when Camden first said "Ma," but he pretends to feel badly for me and tries to encourage the use of Mommy. We both try to get Camden to say "Momma" again or to even sign it again, but he just looks at us like we're crazy.

It's getting a little confusing to figure out who Camden wants. Does he want Daddy-Daddy this time around or Mommy-Daddy? He can fall, stand up crying, say "Daddy Daddy" over and over again, but run to me for comfort and reject Mark. We can both be sitting on the couch and Cam will want to play, come up asking for "Daddy", and grab Mark by the hand and reject me. So I'm never quite sure when Mommy-Daddy should come to the rescue, unless of course, Mark is at work. Even then, it could still mean Camden just misses Daddy and really doesn't want me when he's calling Daddy's name.

I hope I get my own name back one day. But until then, you can call me the artist formerly known as "Mom."


Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

Awww.. I can see how you'd be a little disappointed with being called 'daddy' hopefully he'll give you back your name soon! My son never says 'dada' and I can see that my husband feels a little left out!

Mall Worker said...

My little guy calls for Mommom when he wants me or his dad. It might be an age thing. My niece did the same thing, both of her parents were dad until they her to learn who was who again.

Dawnyel said...

That's gotta be hard! He'll start to pick up with "Mama" again!! I know it! My Cam called (sometimes STILL does) me "grummy." Yeah, we were at Grandma's house a lot!! But if he's in a hurry, he'll call out, "Grandma, mama, dada!" For whoever's the closest!

Melissa said...

2 out of 3 of my kids did this. My 3 year old will still call me daddy, but then she laughs and corrects herself. They grow out of it - promise :)

Unknown said...

I can see how that could get confusing to know who he is talking to. I hope the word mom comes back into his vocabulary soon :-)

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This sounds a lot like my lil girl. Actually, "forgetting" words she's previously learned seems to be the norm for her. She used to say both mama and papa but now won't call either my husband or I by our names. Her new favorite word? She says, "ME!!!" when she wants something.

No matter what name your son uses, you still were first ;)

(ack, sorry about the deleted post. I was logged into the google account I use for spam mail)

Jane said...

Very cute and funny story! I have two identical twin cousins and when was little I couldn't tell them apart so I called them collectively, "Lynnmelinda."

It's just a phase-but such a cute one!

Mama D said...

A used to say "mommydaddy" together like one name. But never called either of us mommy or daddy on their own... weird.