Doppy Urpdey
Playtime at the Thunderdome

Say My Name

Noah called me 'Mama' until he started preschool. That child never once sat still for circle time or completed a craft project without protest — and I'm pretty sure his only interaction with most of his classmates involved throwing things at them — but he still managed to somehow absorb the message that 'Mama' was for babies. He was calling me 'Mommy' within a couple weeks. 

Ezra never called me 'Mama.' I was 'Mommy,' right from the start.

I figured Ike would be the same, especially since he's been taking his sweet time in calling me ANYTHING. By the time he chose to acknowledge that I have a name, that I am a PERSON with FEELINGS beyond LADY WHO WHAT BRINGS ME ALL THE FOOD AND CHANGES MAH PANTS, I assumed he'd be past the 'ma-ma' pronounciation and would call me what he hears his brothers say. Christ, he calls Jason 'Dad' most of the time: He might very well just go straight to 'Mom.'

Such a small, stupid distinction, but I admit: I was bummed at the thought of never being 'Mama' again. I always wished Noah had stuck with it, like I always wish we were more Southern than we are. Not geoghraphically, but...more genteel. With bigger hair. Nicer manners, better shade-throwing skilla and less nasal-y accents. Mama. Bless y'all's hearts. Mommy is fine, but Mama is what my baby called me. And that's what made it so sweet and fleetingly special.

Tl;dr Ike calls me 'Mama."  


For now, anyway. 'Mommy' and 'Mom' are right around the corner, and that's fine.

But oh, it is so nice to hear that word again from this tiny little person. 





Ah, now. Sweetness.


being very southern (Georgia) I call my mom Mama. However, I haven't always. I went through a Mom stage punctuated with "Mother" when I was angry and only returned to Mama as an adult.

My 6 year old refuses to call myself and my husband anything but Mommy and Daddy. He even corrects me when I say "your dad"

You may have even more Mama days still to come, they just may be in another 20 years. :)


All three of mine still say Mommy (even the 12 yr old who knows the only way to really get my attention is to call me Mother.)

I wants to shnuggle Baby Ike. YOU CAN'T MAKE ME NOT CALL HIM THAT. (this is going to go on forever and ever amen, you know that, right?)


I've always been Mommy to my son; he calls his grandmas (and all old ladies) Mama.


I love this post. I am "Mama" right for both boys but my four year old has started calling me "Mom" more frequently. Actually it's more like "Mo-om" with early teenage annoyance thrown in- and he is only four. The baby is almost two and says "Mama"still. We live in Tennesee so even Southern geography is not a guarantee for Mama.


My 7 1/2 year old calls me mom but the other two (the 4 1/2 year old and the 16 mo old) still call me mama. I love mama. Not sure when it'll happen but I do not look forward to the day when I will be referred to only as mom...or that crazy woman who birthed me.

Keep the mamas coming as long as they will.


Oh! Oh! My third (and last) baby, who is now five, has always called me Mama. I have no idea why; she did not heard it from her big brothers! But oh my I love it so. "I love you Mama", "Thank you, Mama" and a big hearty "MAAMAA!" screamed as she runs across the pre-school room to greet me when I come to pick her up. I never would have predicted it, but it just melts me.


Yep, as someone from the South, Mama is just what we say. Mom is usually saved for when you are a teenager and angry. Gah, MOM!


My son is 41, still calls me "Mama", and I love it.


I have a thing for The Waltons. We have watched every season, every episode, over and over, since my middle one was months old. She learned to talk (late, but talk she did) while watching the Waltons. So did my youngest. And they both, still to this day, call me Mama. My oldest, who was talking a novel by a year old, has always called me mommy (or mom, now that she's 10) *sniff* I'll miss mama when it's gone.


I'm 44 and my female parental unit is still "Mama." "Mommy" was what I called her when I was small. And yes, I AM southern! :)


I know what you mean. My 4 1/2 year old still calls me Mama and I love it so very much. I hope it sticks around for a while


I was "mom" to both my kids right from the start - they are both in their late 20's now. However - they each went through a stage in kindergarten where they called me by my first name!! It did not last very long, and they never did do it with their dad at all. Not even sure where they got it from - even my husband addressed me as "mom" or "your mom" when the kids were around!! I thought it was hilarious!!


Although I am not personally Southern, my husband is, and I have lived in various Southern states for 10 years. My daughter was born in Savannah, GA, and I was Mama from the beginning (both by culture and choice). She did go through a "mom" phase, but it ended pretty quickly when my husband and I both responded with "Who's this Mom person?" My 15-month-old refuses to call me anything, but will point/jab me in the chest when asked.


Having been born and bred in Texas, this idea of "Mama is for babies" is completely foreign to me. Where I come from, little kids say "Mommy" (which might have been pronounced "ma-ma" when they were tiny) and bigger kids (and grown ups) say "Mama."


Love that!

My almost 4 changes her mind every day, but will still, when sleepy, call me mama. The little one, almost 2 is full on mama, dada, mama! Love it.


How *do* they know to switch to Mommy? My preschooler interchanges Mommy/Mom/Mama but Mama is getting less common. My 18 month old is still firmly in Mama territory for now. And can I also thank you for not spelling it "Momma" like so many people I know. That is just wrong.


I was never mama. I guess it's a regional thing. I never called my mother "mama" only "mommy" and later "mom". My daughter started with mommy and is still using that at 4 yr old, but has occasionally called me "mom" which I'm not ready for. I'm sure my son will go with "mommy" too.

Reb @ Sink or Swim

My kids recently decided that Mommy and Daddy are too baby and that we would now be known as Mom and Dad. It was a teensy bit heartbreaking...


Wow. I thought it was just me that was bothered by the fact that my 9 year old calls me mom now instead of mama. and we ARE in the south! I have been referring to my mom as mama since we moved south, too. So hopefully I will again become mama.


I sign my 8 years olds lunch notes love, mommy despite the fact I have been "mom" for years and years. My little guy skipped straight to mommy (weep) and my middle boy calls me by my first name (he knows it will get my attention "don't call me that!!!")Enjoy the mama...


yeah, avery's doing that not really calling me anything too. the occasional mama/ma comes out, but i'm never 100% sure she's really saying my "name."
but at least she does the same to her stay-at-home dad so.
and she has plenty of words so i'm not worried, i just want her to see me and yell "mama" for a bit before she starts with the eyerolling and moooo-om

Jen L.

My son called me "Nah Nah" for a bit, then when he was 2, he started calling me Sugar. We ARE southern, so it sounded like, "Sugah." I could eat his whole head. The first time he said the "L" word, he said, "I wub you, Sugah." I about died. Now I'm mommy. It's sweet, but I miss Sugar.


Henry, who is almost 19 months, only says "mama" if prompted, and then he whispers it like he's swearing. It's giving me a complex.


I said mommy and daddy for the longest time. I switched over to mom around the teenager years but kept up saying daddy, possibly because it worked to get my way more often, mwahaha. However, at some point in adult life I moved back to mama and now I call my father dad. Weird how it keeps changing. It may not really be the end of mama for you!

Erin Miller Tosspon

My boy called me Mama and how I missed it when he switched up to Mommy or Mom. Now he's 17 years old and has been calling me Mama again for the last few years. Pretty cute coming out of the mouth of a 6'6" man/boy.


My kids (11 and 7) switch between Mama and Mommy. I LOVE Mama, and I always refer to myself as Mama, not Mommy. They mostly call their dad Dada, sometimes Daddy. I hope they always call us Mama and Dada.

My grandmother always referred to her mother as Mama, even when she was 100 years old. I always loved that too.


My girls still call me Mama, and I would be very sad if they stopped (I also have mommy and mom thrown into the mix, but those terms are in my vocab for my maternal unit, too. I usually call her Mom, but Mama if I'm actually with her, Mommy if I'm sick. And Ma. A lot of Ma, but I kind of hope that one doesn't catch on with my kids. Shhh, don't tell her I said that.)
You enjoy the heck out of that little dude.


i'm almost 30, and i still call my parents mama and papa. don't plan on changing that anytime soon!


My 8 month old has only just started going mamamama but it's really cute!

julie w

As a fellow parent of a speech delayed kid...I was so excited when he could switch up the sounds from mama (repeating same sound) to mommy (shifting vowels).


my littlegirl has begun calling me mama and i wish she would go back to mommy.
it's funny how you reversed it in my eyes. mommy seems more baby (at least to me. and i'm a genteel less than big hair southern girl myself)

but i'll take momma (mama?) because for a long time, it was mom. um, she's 4. that was when she was around 2.5- NOT 13!


My 4yo did go straight to calling me, 'Mom,' and I was sad but got used to it, eventually forgetting to refer to myself as 'Mama,' to try to nudge him that way. Then, inexplicably, a few months ago, he started calling me 'Mama.' It makes me so so happy, happier than if he'd always called me that and even though I know I'll likely be Mom again sooner rather than later.


My daughter is 10 months old and says "mamamama" right now. To everything. But when she looks at me it melts me :)


My son has two moms and so we each chose what we wanted to be called. I picked Mama for lots of reasons, but mostly because it connotes comfort and love to the ripe old age of 13 my son still calls me Mama. That's happy!


Interesting. Maybe it's because I'm southern, but I called my mother "mommy" when I was very young and then "mama" when I was older. It was "mom" when I hit my teen years, but now I use mama and mom interchangeably.


I SO remember the pain when my daughter moved straight to 'mom'. Sigh. Stupid kids.


I always hated 'mama' and would correct my older one when she said it. I prefer 'MAAA' like Dorothy Zbornak yelling for Sophia. Seriously, I totally love it.


I'm 52 and my mother is 79. I call her Mama. She called her mother Mama until she died at 91. My son, who is 28, calls me Momma. My daughter, 25, has always called me Momma and Mommy interchangably. We live in Texas. (Yeah, we say Daddy too.)


Do you think you'll have another baby? Not even a little bit? If not can you let us know what the boys would have been named if they were girls? Your adoring fans think you have mad baby-naming skills!


Is it a southern thing? We are southern, and "mama" is considered less babyish than mommy. And one calls her father "daddy" even when she is thirty. I had no idea it was regional.

Mommy is for babies, and we cut that one out pretty quickly because I hated the whine on the "y" sound. It just went all over me.

I hope Ike keeps his "mama" for a while and that he doesn't go through a phase of calling you "firstname"- right now my almost three year old sometimes calls her father Jason, and the older one called us Jason and Kim for a year.


I'm from Quebec and we speak french as a first language. My 2 year-old daugther calls me "maman", or Myriam, depending on her mood. I always called my parents by their first names, my mom insisted on it. For her, Maman was any mom, Nicole was just her, so more personnal, intimate I think. I like that my daughter knows my name, that I am more of a person than just her mom...


Amen! Preach on, Mama! I am one of those southerners and my chirren talk like it...but their dad is Brasilian and mortified at some of the stuff they say. Like the other night when our 5 yr old said "y'all." He asked her if she really knew what it meant. She looked at him like he was an idiot, waved her hands to include the whole family and said, "ALL. A. Y'ALL!" Score one for my side of her DNA.


My 13 year old son still calls me Mama, just not in front of his 13 year old friends! God bless you when your boys become teenagers. One boy is enough for me at this age...I can't imagine three of them!! The food bill alone...


Lucky! I wanted to be full time, southern,"Mama!". But alas, around 19 months old,Miss L decided I was Mommy. I was kinda annoyed at first, and then I realized how gosh darn cute it was. So I'm Mommy. Meh.

Stephanie Cox

I am also a mom to three sweet boys, ages 13, 3, and 1 1/2. I agree with everything you are saying about the name "mama". One million, billion percent. It's my favorite word in the world, and I already dread the day my baby stops saying it.

Bailey R.

My son just started saying 'mama''. Granted he's 8 months old and has no clue what it means but OMG it kills me every damn time. Even at 4:30 am. He can call me that all his life.

Psychologists Sydney

My girl called me mama and I love it! Its pretty cute to hear from a four years old kid.


My three yr old have been calling me Mother for the last two months. I hate it but she knows that. Ma baby has call me MA since about 9 months. ma ma ma Ma MA MAAAAAAAAA. just like that


I never thought I would be a mama past the very baby years but my 3.5 year old twins both call me that (OR sometimes my daughter calls me MOOOOOM in a teenage voice). They don't really say mommy that much.


Be careful what you wish for....we are so southern that my two boys (beau and Luke mind you...we didn't realize until wed finally agreed on the younger ones names that the duke brothers are our sons namesakes) call me Bubba .......Ill let that sink in.......its all my husbands fault too. He thought it was hilarious to encourage our oldest to do it when he started and now even at 5 he insists that I am Bubba, which evidently is a form of supermama so I should be thankful I guess...

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