I have a wonderful mom. She works from home and has volunteered to pick up “Em” from Kindergarten and keep her with her at home in the afternoons. It’s awesome! Gone are the days of paying $800 a month for preschool (yes, it’s pricey, but it kinda has to be if you want your child to be prepared for school). I can finally really start saving for a down payment so Em and I can have our own place.
Having free, familiar childcare is great. However, there is one event that can happen: your child calls you by the caregiver’s name. Or just the opposite, your child calls the caregiver, “Mom.”
I’ve been through this before, when my daughter was at an in-home daycare when she was a toddler. She would call “Annie” “Mommy.” Some other moms I knew got upset when their kids used the wrong name for them. For me, I shrugged it off, knowing that Em knew I was her “Mom” and that Annie was someone who took care of her. At that young age, the word “Mom” didn’t mean anything more than “woman who feeds me and makes sure I don’t hurt myself.” In my heart, and hers, I was more than that, but she didn’t have a different word for it.
Now that Em has started Kindergarten, she’s mixing up her names again. She’ll mistakenly call me “Grandma” and call her Grandma “Mom.” Sometimes she catches herself right away and giggles, “Whoops! Sorry!” Sometimes we see how long it takes her to realize what she said. It’s actually kind of endearing. And I’m sure my mom doesn’t mind. Em’s as much her kid as she is mine, since we’ve been living in my folks’ house since Em was a little over a year old. She has three “parents” but she definitely knows who’s who when it comes to genealogy.
For me, it means she’s comfortable where she is. Since I know she’s getting the same kind of care from my mom as she would get from me, she’s welcome to call my mom “Mom” from time to time.
So thanks, Mom! I mean, Grandma! Wait, what’s your name? What’s mine?