By JESSICA SCHMIDT
My four-year-old son refuses to call me Mama, or Mummy or Mum.
My son calls me ‘Jess.’
As an aside, my younger son doesn’t call me anything. He went through the developmentally appropriate stage of Dada and then Mama (oh joy!) And now nothing…
I can only think, even at his tender age, he realises that this is a sensitive issue and out of loyalty to both his Mama and his big brother, he’s staying neutral. Yes, it does seem a bit bizarre when you say it out loud but it all seems to work just fine.
So anyway, we were in the supermarket. That intimidating arena; where all parenting skills are on show, when you are generally at your, very harassed worst.
The little guy calls out, “Hey Jess, can we get ice cream”
I honestly didn’t even register it, as this is what he calls me. I just went into the usual speech about, we have some at home blah..blah and then I heard:
“Did you hear that? That little boy called her Jess.”
“But he looks just like her, she must be his mum.”
Yes, shocking isn’t it, ‘random lady in the supermarket.’ I think so too and I am his MOTHER! Don’t know why she was so outraged.
Well I do know, and it does jar in everyday conversation. People will say: “What did he just call you?”
‘Random lady in the supermarket’ you are not alone, my own mother is not too happy either.
I do get it. I am his Mama and he should acknowledge it and to not acknowledge it, well let’s face it, it’s a bit of a denial isn’t it. He doesn’t call his Dad by his name.
Now I should point out that my son adores me, almost as much as I adore him. There isn’t a moment of the day that I ever doubt that and so, secure in my own sense of self (even if it is a little hurt), I have tried to get to the bottom of it.