Monday, June 30, 2008

Mommy, not Mama

William has taken to calling me "Mommy" most of the time now. I hear an occasional "Mama" but it's mostly "Mommy" now. And he's started calling David "Daddy" instead of "Dada," too.

I don't know precisely when he made the shift, but I know that it seemed to occur around the time that we went to Natchez. At least, that's when I picked up on it. It's funny how it makes him sound more grown up, somehow. I mean, "Mommy" is still a word that young children use. But it seems less babyish than "Mama," and I'm not sure I can even explain why. Because it's an evolution in his speech? Because he adds it to the end of whole sentences, rather than just blurting out random words here and there?


It's one of those small changes that are at once quiet and startling. Like seeing his long legs when he's sitting in his carseat, or seeing how far down his feet hang when he's riding in his stroller---and then remembering and actually seeing for an instant, in a brilliant flash of memory like the flash of a camera, when his legs were short and chubby or when his feet barely reached the edge of the stroller seat. I hear "Mommy" and it emanates from the mouth of a small boy, not a baby. But I can hear "Mama" coming from the mouth of the baby, too. And I can still see the baby in my head. But then again, the image of the small boy is so strong, so vibrant, that sometimes it takes actually looking at pictures of the baby for me to realize how much William really has changed. I don't fully realize the contrast until I really see it.

This boy

is very different from this boy:

Well. Except for the smile.


natalie said...

He is such a fantastic little guy - at any age! The difference between those two pictures is really striking. I know it's happening for us, too, but it's so hard to see it day-to-day. Congratulations on becoming "Mommy"!

Jennifer Larson said...

Aw, thank you!

Actually, the boy with the long legs and unruly hair does have more in common with the bald baby than I might have let on. They both are very quick to smile and laugh--and equally quick to let you know when they are Not Pleased!

Anonymous said...

He has grown so much. But that wonderful smile and the bright, alert eyes were there from the beginning! It's evident in both pictures.

With love,