My daughter is currently a parrot. We have so far avoided a rather dramatic repetition of any profanity in the middle of our local supermarket.
For this I am forever grateful.
However, the other day she repeated something that stopped me in my tracks. At the top of her lungs she shouted; ‘Gemma, look at this.’ Gah!
I looked at her in complete and utter shock. It was like she had just said the grown up version of *sugar* or *fudge* For the first time she had just called me by my ‘real’ name.
It had never occurred to me that I would be so fiercely protective of my ‘new’ name and identity when I had children. I’m actually quite the opposite; I have been determined to prove that having children hasn’t changed ‘me.’ I worked far too hard whilst pregnant, I’ve tried hard not to allow my house to become overrun by toys; instead to be a balanced environment. But in that moment I realised that it upset me. It upset me that she called me by my ‘grown up’ name and knew that I had a different identity.
I am her mummy, not her friend, not her colleague.
I felt like she had just discovered who I really was. I was no longer her idol, her best friend, her protector, her Supermum… I was just Clark Kent.
I know that the day will come when she pushes the boundaries teenage-style and casts aside the comforting maternal name for me; by calling me ‘Mum’, ‘Whatever,’ or ‘You’reSoUnfair.’
But for now I want to be Mummy and everything that it encompasses, for as long as possible.