Moms Just Can't Win

Jun 8, 2009

All my kids said “Da Da” first.

I know. I know. You can tell me that this is common, that the “d” sound is easier to say than the “m” sound. I took all those child development classes. I know.

But honestly, I don’t really care about that. It’s just not fair.

After all, I carried those children for 9 months. (Actually, 10 months. And one for 10 months and 5 days if you want to get technical about it.) I gave birth to them. I nursed them, changed their diapers 90% of the time, have been up in the middle of the night nearly every time with every single one of them. I’m the one who wipes away the boogers and dries the tears and listens to the whining 24/7. I’ve been puked on and snot on and pooped on. I buy the formula, make the formula, feed the formula - and then later, buy the food, make the food, serve the food, spoon in the food into their mouths. I’m their all-encompassing “go-to-gal.

And yet, who’s name do they say first? Their father’s.

That’s just downright wrong.

Thus, now that our baby is beginning to say a few new sounds, having, as I mentioned, already mastered “da da,” it’s no wonder I am thrilled beyond belief every time I hear the “m” sound come out of his mouth.

“Ma Ma Ma,” he said at breakfast the other morning. I stopped in my tracks and spun around from the sink. Did you say “Ma Ma?” I said, with a huge smile on my face. He smiled back at me. Did you say, “Ma Ma?” I repeated, getting closer to him. He began to giggle, happy that he’d obviously made me so happy.

My two-year-old, never wanting to be outdone by anyone, let alone his baby brother, said, “I can say ‘Ma Ma,’ too!” he yelled. “Ma Ma!”

Because I am trying to stifle as much sibling rivalry and jealousy as I can, I turned to him and said joyfully, “Good job, Bennett ! Can you say ‘Ma Ma’ again?” He was happy to oblige with a chorus of “Ma Ma Ma’s!”

And then, I turned to my 6-year-old daughter and said to her, “Jordan, can you say ‘Ma Ma,’ too?”

Now, before I go on, I know this sounds strange to ask a child who can already name every state and their capitals if she is able to utter a monosyllabic sound. But, in my defense, when you have multiple children, there is no telling what is going to upset them or make them jealous. The fact that I was fawning all over her brothers because they could say my name might just be the one thing that day to set her off.

So, as I mentioned before, I turned to her and said, “Jordan, can you say “Ma Ma,’ too?”

She didn’t come right out and actually say, “Do you think I’m an idiot?” or even utter the words, “You are an idiot.” But the look she gave me certainly conveyed both messages.

“Yes, MOM,” she said. “I can say it.” And then, she stomped into the other room.

Honestly, there is just no winning with kids, is there? Because, you all know that if I hadn’t included her in our “name game,” our house would have been full to the ceiling with little-girl-drama. And so, I chose the other route and brought her into our fun. That, of course, like many of the tactics I try as a mom, backfired on me and now she’s upset because I don’t recognize what a “big girl” she is.

Maybe I just should have stayed in bed.

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