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What's in a name?

"Mommy" isn't working for me anymore

by Kami Lewis Levin  |  1689 views  |  1 comment  |      Rate this now! 

The other day, my 3-year-old said, "Mommy, I'm Mowgli. Please call me Mowgli from now on. Starting now."

It made sense. I mean, we watched the animated version of The Jungle Book recently. Like, eight months ago. But whatever. No skin off my back. If the kid wants to be called Mowgli, Mowgli it is. It got me thinking though. If he can up and change his name just 'cause, why can't I carpe diem and do the same considering that I'm the one with true just cause?

Picture, if you will, a Saturday morning around 6 a.m. The birds are chirping, the breeze is blowing, the squirrels are hording and, because God hates me, I'm downstairs multi-tasking. At some point during the process of making coffee, boiling water for the boys' oatmeal, and running down to the basement to bring up yet another roll of paper towels, I inevitably find myself being attacked by a barrage of questions.


"Yes, babe?"

"Umm, Mommy?"

"Yeah, hon?"

"Ummm, Mommy?"

"What can I do for you?"


I choose to ignore him.

"Mommy, ummm, Mommy, can I have some milk?"

"Mommy, can horses talk?"

"Mommy, can you help me?"

"Mommy, uh." (pause) "Mommy, uh." (pause) "Mommy, when will Daddy wake up?"

"Mommy, remember when I fell off the cushions?" (You mean five seconds ago?)

"Mommy, can we go to the playground?"

"Mommy, where do the clouds go?"

"Umm, Mommy? When are you going to be fat again like you were when the baby was in your belly?" (WHAT?)

"Mommy, I love you."

"Mommy, will you read me that book?"

It makes me want to rip the hair out of my head just writing about it. I've tried explaining to him that he can ask me as many questions as he wants as long as they aren't prefaced with, "Mommy?" I've tried preying on his pity by saying, "Mommy is working very hard to get breakfast ready for everyone, can you play quietly by yourself until I'm done?" I've tried being stern: "Listen, kid, it's 6 in the morning. Your questions are hurting my ears. Stop talking so I can concentrate on mixing the right amount of water into the oatmeal." And I've tried to make it fun: "Let's play the quiet game. Let's see who can be quiet for longer, me or you. Ready, set, go." "But, Mommy?" D'OH!

So, I'm considering changing my name to something more generic. I know what you're thinking. What could be more generic than "Mommy?" Well, "Hey You," for starters. Or, I had a student named Lady once (no, really). That would do. Or perhaps, I could lose the pronouns altogether, like The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, and just be The Woman Formerly Known as Mommy. That might teach my kid to cut to the chase. Or if I dressed in costume, like Rainbow Brite or Skeletor, that might provide him with the visual cue he needs to remember that the name "Mommy" is currently out of circulation. There must be an end in sight to the verbal pull he still has on my pants' legs. In the meantime however, maybe instead of changing my name, I'll just wear earplugs. All day long. Except when I'm at work, where I'm generally referred to as Kami. Or, Awesome Rockstar Curriculum Developer.

About the Author

I'm a mom of two, wife of one, writer, blogger, educator and ice cream lover, desperately trying to keep my head above water. Please check out more of my writing at The Fence.

Read more by Kami Lewis Levin

1 comment so far...

  • Yes they ask lots of questions...but he sounds like a really cute and smart child. Like my Mom told me when I was in my 30's this will be the happiest times of your life...raising your family. Moments to cherish. Hugs

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by eileen b on 20th June 2009