Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hey, Lady, what's your name?

This blog is all about profound things. Deep. Insightful. Of world significance. Clearly.

That said, I want to write about the name I am most often called. MAMA.

I am a Mama. I am not a Mommy. I am not a Mom. Mommy sounds so whiny, so helpless, so done with itself. Whereas Mama, Mama has chutzpah, sass, power. Mommy is wearing flat-soled orthopedics. Mama could be wearing black knee-high boots, gardening clogs (actually used while gardening), or better yet, she's barefoot. And pregnant. Mommy is quiet and occasionally listless; she can't figure out if she's in charge or her toddler. While Mama has been known to yell (only when justified, of course), and likes the following cheer: "Who's the boss?" "MA-MA," (children reply.) "Who's in charge?" "MA-MA!" "Who knows best?" "MA-MA?" "Who's a babe?" "MA-MA!" (And so on. You could probably think of your own variations.) Basically, to boil it down to it's maple syrup essence: mama is sex, mommy is sexless.

And Mom? What can be said of that one? It's so dull. It is the word a teenage girl gives to the woman who makes her come home and do her homework. We do not want to be that lady, do we?

Ma is too home on the prairie. The person saying it has a tired mouth--they can't even bother to get two syllables out. Either that, or she's from a 1970s sitcom and wears a de rigueur house dress.

So what's your name? Take my poll on the sidebar and tell me. Forward it to your friends and have them take it too, because the six people who read this thing aren't going to make any decent majorities. No pressure, naturally, but you should do it while you're thinking about it. Because you'll never think of it again. Despite the pressing, global nature of the issue.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, the Goobs varies appellations by mood.

    "Mommy" is indeed used when he is very, very tired and whiny. "Mama" (my favorite) usually indicates he's had a good nap or night's sleep and is full of revelations about the world and everything in it.