Deliberately. Intentionally. Unequivocally. Quite simply, I am Mama.
Five little ones (well, two are little, two are medium and one is now just an inch shorter than me so she is a big kid) have the privilege of calling me mama. I have discovered, as well, that the benefit is reciprocal because I am honored to be called mama. I did not conceptualize how deeply I treasure this title until I was denied the sweetness by one of my own.
Truth: Kaitlynn lived from one year old to two years old in a home where here dear caregivers were affectionately referred to as Aunt (Tia).
Truth: I am now Kaitlynn’s primary caregiver.
Truth: In her mind, and more importantly her mouth, I am more often than not referred to as Aunt.
Truth: I didn’t think it would bug me, but it has.
Truth: I just gotta deal with it. So I am. With a smile, nonetheless… most of the time.
We are super blessed to have a very verbal child. I know she will get it. I really can’t complain about it. I wasn’t even going to post about it until another odd thing in the name department came up. The first time it happened I thought the other person was just weird. (Forgive me.) Then when it happened a second and third time in very distinct settings I had to chalk it up to just another thing in the Bolivian cultural that shocked my system.
People greet me. They greet my daughter. They do their coo-coo cutie cute noises and then they start to converse with the girl. First question while pointing to me: Who is this? She answers: Mama. (Yeah!) Second question: What is her name? She answers: Mama. (Double yeah!) They respond: No, not mama, what is her name? She answers: Mama. I give the person who wants to “teach” my child the correct answer a funny look and quickly change the topic.
Is this normal? Am I the weird one? Are they doing this because I am not her birth mother so they want her to call me by my given name? Is this a practice that they do with Bolivian mothers who have Bolivian 2 year olds? Help me out here!
Personally, I cannot see myself expecting a 2 year old child to know the names of their mom and dad. As a side note, they don’t do this with DaRonn when he is holding her and talking with others. Then, the fact that she has been in our home for less than a week, added to the annoying title of Aunt that she calls me most times I feel like I want to walk around with a sticker proudly plastered to my chest in Spanish that says: Hi, My Name is Mama. That might be taking it a bit too far, though, eh? That might border on the offensive just a tad, right?
So, I should probably hide the treacherous Sharpie marker, bite my lip and force a grin. Patience, lady, patience.
In other name news we were sooooooo happy to hear her telling people at church yesterday that her name is Kaitlynn. Bless her! She is working really hard. I am so very proud of her.