What’s in a name?

I’ve just noticed this on our calendar:

the calendar battle

Seems I’m not the only one feeling a little sadness at the fact that our daughter now wants to call us mum and dad, instead of the much preferred mummy and daddy. If you know my handwriting though, you’ll notice, that I was the one who wrote ‘dad’ in the first place, having long since accepted our daughter’s bid for maturity. It seems daddy is the one who isn’t quite ready for his baby to take this step- what next? Calling us by our christian names? Its always freaked me out a little, those kids who call their parents Frank and Jean, like they’re close personal friends instead of the people who created them. ‘Parent’ is an important title, so does it really matter if we’re mum and dad, ma and pa or even parent one and parent two?! Actually, yes, parent one and parent two is a little Dr. Seuss and more than a little odd, but I hope you can see what I’m getting at. Any variation of our parenting titles is acceptable, as long as our children continue to view us in the same way.
In our house, mum still cuddles just the same way that mummy used to. Its still mum who is called upon to perform mummy’s duties in the night when there’s been a bad dream or a vomiting incident. Its still mum who cleans the loo and irons the school clothes on a Sunday night. I have to confess though, mummy secretly never ironed much at all, because her children were too young for school and therefore had no need for pressed clothes. Ironing is totally mum’s bag, not mummy’s. And as for dad. Well, he still puts the bins out like daddy did, he still tickles, plays games and cracks the same old jokes day and night. Not much has changed and yet it is changing all the time.

tickles!


This little calendar battle speaks volumes on the ever evolving relationships we have with our children. Its all about our daughter wanting to be a grown up and us accepting that this is the case. Its all about how we, as parents, need to let her go and grow and leave behind her baby-ness. Its all about that thing that parents do, when they want to hold on to the last vestiges of children being babies.
Our daughter is always asking us, ‘Why do we have names?’ and we are always telling her that names are important so that we know who we are speaking to, they give us an identity. When we were choosing names for the children, it struck us what an important job it really is. Our daughter has my nanna’s first name and my mother in law’s name as a middle name. Our son wasn’t named after anyone (well, his middle name is my father in law’s name) and we could never agree on any names at all whilst I was pregnant. I had one name and one name only would do. It was SO important to me and dad/ daddy/ the argumentative one didn’t like it. In fact, up to the minute where we thought it was all over, we still hadn’t agreed. The baby’s name was only decided after my husband was faced with the sight of me with tubes down my throat and machines beeping… sometimes it takes an image like that to make you realise. A name is a name but its also just a name. Its the important stuff that person does that makes them fit their name.
Our daughter wants to call us mum and dad. We want mummy and daddy. But its all the same really. We’re still the same people.

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19 responses to “What’s in a name?

  • TheBoyandMe

    You raise an interesting point; as a teacher, mummy, wife, daughter, sister, aunty, friend and anonymous blogger, I have loads of names, but I’m still the same person inside!

  • Alyson

    I have fought and conceded this battle with my eldest who is 12 but I’m afraid my 6 and 1 yr old are stuck with it, my 6year old occasionally called her dad Tim, which can be funny but then I remember that Bart Simpson calls Homer ..Homer and not dad! Eeek

  • Lisa

    I say: some peope have mums and dads but in this family we have mummies and daddies 🙂

  • Mummy Beadzoid

    I have to say that I honestly don’t mind what little one calls me – as long as it isn’t ‘Mam’, which she won’t as she’s not being brought up in the north like her own Mum/Mummy/Mama/ or Mom as I often here in Warwickshire parts. In fact thinking about it my blog name and blog addy display this lack of preference in Mummy Beadzoid vs Mommy Beadzoid.. Though I must admit til I lived in the Midlands I had thought ‘Mom’ to just be an odd American thing.

    But, I waffle…. I refer to myself as all sorts, so whatever she wants to call me is fine. And if she insists on shortening her own name, I’ll follow her wishes (perhaps with a slight grimace!!!)

  • tamsyn

    i went through the ‘ok. so now i am mum, and not mummy’ phase…it thankfully hit us over in France a bit later, as obviously not going to an English school, it didn’t matter that i was still mummy, they didn’t know anything different. just as i thought we had got away with it our friends came to stay for the summer, and they have older kids, and thus the whole ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ thing going on. i was heartbroken, as last summer, i became ‘mum’. finally, the end of the ‘mummy’ season. but now i realise you can’t stop anything, it just all changes whether you like it or not, and therefore need, with kids, to be always adaptable.

    but i do miss not being mummy anymore. from not having been called it by my son until he was 7, to now having my 2-year-old having never called me mummy….!!

    great post

    tamsyn x

  • waterbirthplease

    I just wish mine could say Mummy! We are getting a few more “Ma mas” though. (My neice went through a phase of calling my brother by his first name which we all found hilarious cause he hated it so much! x)

  • Emma

    we went through this stage, but now we’re back to mummy for affection and mum for when she’s being all grown up. I’ve learned that the name is just that, the hugs and love and cuddles are what I really value.
    Emma

  • Tessa

    I know exactly what you mean. My daughter is nine, and she’s just started calling me “mom” instead of “mama”. What’s worse, now my three year old is beginning to copy her! I’m definitely not ready to be just “mom!”

  • Jazzygal

    Oh How grown up! I actually liked it when “Mammy” (very Irish…only “posh” people say “Mummy” in Ireland!) was shortened to “Mum” ( we now live in a “posh” area…you still with me??!) ‘cos he very obviously sounded it out a few times to see if HE liked it! So cute! And a far cry form the days when he couldn’t accept the fact that mum and dad had Christian names also…. or that he himself had a surname. mentioning his surname at the many appointments he had in the early days warranted a major tantrum!

    Sometimes growing up is good!

    xx Jazzy (visiting via Blog gems)

  • Kathleen

    HA! I got to choose three of the names…after my husband saw what birth was like. They do grow so quickly..But the hugs and kisses-always there…just not in front of friends!!

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