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Mama, what's your name again?

In the on going quest to teach Vivian the pertinant particulars of her life, I've been teaching her ours names, and our address, as well as her name, and age. (this is the ONLY thing a Bush has talked about that I agreed with-shortly after Katrina, Laura Bush did some interview talking about all the younger children who couldnt even say their names, and it freaked me out. I know all the kids were eventually reunited, but still. I want my kids to be able to identify themselves)

Vivian has known her own name for about 6 months now, in terms of being able to say it when asked. She's picked up everything else as well, so I'll likely move on to the phone number soon.

But here's the rub. This morning, my lovely, brilliant daughter called me by my first name when asking for something. The Dorf looked at me and asked, 'Doesn't that bother you?"

I thought about it. And no, it doesn't. Because I'm not "just" Mom, but I am the person linked into my name, my strange, unique (though less so lately) name that made me stick out like a sore thumb all through school. The name that no one could pronounce for ages. I LIKE my name. It's so much a part of me that hearing "Mommy" is sometimes very strange, whereas being addressed by my name is very odd.

And she's rightfully confused, since it's hard to explain the concept of a "name" and a "type/profession label" to a toddler. She knows that I'm both in one, and maybe that's what I need to learn. I need to intergrate both ME and MOMMY into one. It's weird though, because the Mommy in my head isn't the same as the me in my head. I feel like a new type of Mommy, trying to find my way through all the bad parenting advice, the "when you were a kids", and the guilt of having to work. Trying to intergrate tomorrow's tattoo appointment with my fear that my children aren't socialized enough, and wondering if Vivian is old enough to take to a movie. Feeling like I'm 15 going on 50 all the time.

I don't believe that there is a threshold into adulthood anymore, and I miss that. When I cried because my father got me running shoes (which I did need) for my sweet sixteen, it wasn't out of selfishness. It was because he didn't get it, and I figured my Mother would have. Sixteen is when you become a "woman" I thought. Sixteen should be special. Not practical. Sixteen should be observed. And it wasn't, and to this day I miss it. I believe there should be an age when it's made clear to you that you are growing up, that responsibilites are coming, and to appreciate the time you have.

And a time when you can start calling adults by their first names. That should be well older than 2.5. Of course, I can't bring myself to have Vivian call my friends by their proper names, although I feel that she should be addressing them correctly. By how do I handle my rather old school values in today's ever changing, coddle the young, be casual environment? I know that if we called Nat "Mrs. Thinger" that she's kill me. But it still feels wrong to have my children call her by her first name. Disrespectful.

And yeah, I know that it's an effort to stay young, and not be like our parents, but I don't believe that being respectful ever goes out of style. I just think my concept of respect is almost alien these days. And it's funny-we worry about our children growing up too fast, but we never seem to worry about adults NOT growing up. There's a disconnect, and I'd like to help my children bridge that gap.

So I'll continue to tell Vivian to call me Mommy. Cause she just isn't ready. Nor am I.

Dude, I've never, ever thought of that!

We worry so much about asking a kid their age or when their birthday is but I never thought to actually ask a child, "Can you say your name?"

And the scariest part would be another national disaster of Katrina proportions occurred (God forbid) and my child isn't able to identify his/herself. That's the stuff nightmares are made of!!!

Thought-provoking post, lady. :)

Please don't get your kids to call me Mrs Eastwood. I'm not THAT old. lol Friends and family should be ok to be on first name basis. ;-)

they say that the jewish have something there with the entire bar mitzvah thing, the african with hunting rituals, and so on as cultures do with tattooing for example and so on etcetera with so many cultures...but we have a problem as westerners because we DON'T have a passing of rite into adulthood at about age 13-16 as nearly everywhere else in the world does, and so this is why kids drink, smoke, etc....they want to do these things because they feel it is "adult" to do them. I didn't receive anything nor celebrate my 16th birthday at all for that matter, and I too remember thinking that 16 was the be all end all -- "when I'm 16...I'm gonna do ...." was my catch phrase from the time I was about 9 years on....then....it came and went. I honestly felt myself that at 17 I was fully formed as an adult. Not to say that everyone is, but my values and thoughts and learning rate have stayed the same from that point on...it's what I call my year of becoming a human being.

oh and one more thing (almost forgot) I am in my mid 20's and absolutely ABHORR people younger than I to call me by my first name or to incorrectly call me Miss rather than Mrs. It is absolutely rude...just as I call my elders Mr. Ms. or Mrs. It is a classic sign of respect, mannars never go out of fashion.

That's just it Nicole. It FREAKED me out, the idea of these little kids wandering around, not being able to say who they are. I just can't imagine my kid having to do that.

Don't worry Nat. I'll let them call you whatever.

And that's my point Rowan-we need something better.

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