This was my question to my mother in law when my son was 10 months old.
“Don’t be silly. Of course he will call you ‘mom’. You are his mom after all”, my mother in law replied.
“But he stays more with you”, I argued.
“So what, you still feed him. You spend time with him when you are there”, she said.
I replied, “But he always comes crawling to you even when I’m around. How will he know that you are his dadi and I’m his mom?”.
“Don’t over think this. He will call you ‘ma’, don’t worry. Now go, go to sleep before he wakes up.” She said.
As I went off to sleep that night I was partly assured, but also insecure that my son may call his dadi ‘mom’.
I had to resume work after 3 months of my son’s birth as I had to complete my residency program. I din’t have a choice. If I wouldn’t complete it in that year, I would not get my completion. And then no degree too. So, all the effort would go waste. Hence, I had to join back.
I would be at work for 10-12 hours, sometimes more. My in laws and husband would look after my son. They did it very well, I had no complaints whatsoever. But, as he grew older, I constantly had this fear that what if he doesn’t recognize me? I was barely around. I missed most of his first milestones; when he turned over, when he started creeping, when he started to sit, then stand with support. I missed them all. And he had already started calling my husband “paapa papa. .”
Then, on a beautiful Sunday morning, as I was having breakfast, he came crawling to me and said,”mumm mah.. mumm mah.” And I screamed with joy! My husband and inlaws rushed to me asking what happened. I told them he called me mumma. They were all very happy. Then they started making him repeat it again. But he simply wouldn’t. That was the first and last time he called me ‘mumma’.
After that, he started calling me ‘Awwa’. As his speech and vocabulary improved, ‘Awwa’ became ‘Alva’. He cannot pronounce ‘r’ still. So Arva becomes ‘Alva’ for him!!
But he knows who his mom is. When anybody asks him who is your mummy, he says ‘Alva’ is my mummy..
And when I ask him, “Why do you call me ‘Alva’ and not mummy?” He says, “Papa, Dada and dadi also call you Alva na?”
So, until everybody in the house won’t call me ‘mummy’, he too, won’t!
Only when he wants something from me he will call me ‘Mummy’!!
Today’s generation I say! They do things which we wouldn’t even have imagined doing!!
But, nevertheless, I enjoy being called ‘Alva’ by him!!
Pic courtesy : Google images
Author’s note : This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform.