As mentioned previously, I’m going to refer to my mother as “My Momma,” when mentioning her on this blog.
I feel that I should call her My Momma, lest she not know that I’m talking about her. I’ve called her “momma” (or mama or mamma, however you want to spell it) all of my life, and, let me tell you, she may not always answer to “mom,” or any other term used to address a mother that is not pronounced exactly “Momma.” Let me explain.
Shortly after Sadie, my oldest daughter, was born, we went to stay the weekend with my parents. My Momma told me that, if Sadie woke up in the night and I needed some help, to just call her. So, sure enough, Sadie woke up in the middle of the night and was crying her little heart out, as she was want to do. I was having a hard time consoling her, and thought I would take advantage of My Momma’s offer.
So I walked to the top of the stairs, and whisper-yelled down.
A little louder maybe?
Nada. Kept trying.
“Mom! Mom! MOM!”
I was sure someone would wake up. My dad can be a really light sleeper, so I was sure he would hear me and wake her up.
The crying baby in the Pack’n’Play and my feeble attempts to call for help fell on deaf (or sound asleep) ears. I gave up temporarily and tried, again, to get my baby back to sleep.
Sadie wasn’t even really used to sleeping at home, and was certainly not having any of this sleeping at someone else’s house. So, after a while longer with no luck, I decided to try again to ask for assistance.
I went to the top of the stairs, and called “Mom” in my whisper-yell again. No answer. So I crept down a little ways and tried again. Still nothing. I was getting nowhere. I kept getting a little louder and a little lower down the stairs until I was right outside their door and speaking with a somewhat frantic voice at a volume that you would use to scold a toddler across the room. Now that Sadie is almost 3, I know that volume well.
I went back upstairs and stood outside the door to my room. In one final, pitiful attempt, I said quietly and desperately “Momma?!”
“Huh? Karen?! Are you ok?! What’s wrong?!!!”
I could have throat punched her.
Well, not really. But I was feeling a strong mixture of overwhelming relief and pure anger. I had been calling her on and off for a good hour, and she didn’t answer because I left off a single stinking syllable?
Apparently, her motherly instinct requires very specific code words to be called into action.
And she will never live this down