Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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The many faces of mom

Sweet little cuddly newborns are great, but let's be honest. Deep down, while they smile gassily and blow spit bubbles and scream their heads off for no reason at 2 a.m., a large part of you is enjoying the process of watching their babyhood blossom like a flower before your very eyes. The other part of you is just chanting, "Say Mama, say Mama, c'mon baby, say Mama..."

As they get closer to uttering that first word, their tiny mouths stretch and pucker in search of the right shapes to form syllables. You watch intently, desperate not to miss this cherished milestone when it happens. One day, after all your waiting, the baby finally coos that first word, the word you've been longing to hear:
Okay, one  of you was waiting to hear that, but if you're the mama, it probably wasn't you.

Eventually, almost as an afterthought, "mama" gets thrown in the mix. I celebrated when Maddie first said it - but only briefly, as I soon learned some shocking news.

I'm not the only Mama.

I know, I know - initially babies are just spouting babble-nonsense to practice sounds, and they're not really talking about their parents when they say Mama and Dada anyway. But my kid is almost two. By now, I'm pretty sure she knows who I am.

Yet as recently as an hour ago, she continues to point at many non-me faces, enthusiastically proclaiming, "Ma! MAMA!" In addition to random elderly neighbors, dowdy middle-aged women on light bulb packaging in the discount bin at Lowes, and any brunette on television, there are daily reminders all over my house that I'm not the only Mama in her world. Every single time she sees these things, the moniker Mama is generously bestowed upon:

The zelf on the shelf in Dr. Seuss's There's a Wocket In My Pocket.
I don't know if it's because she (it?) is reclining lazily, because she's surrounded by food, or because of her enormous protruding belly, but whatever Maddie sees in this character that makes her think of me, one thing is certain -
I hate you, Dr. Seuss.

This little whisker-faced girl in Zoe's Cat's Cradle how-to book.

President Benjamin Harrison.

This eye-boggling optical illusion version of Mona Lisa.
(Note: she also calls it Dad. So... that's great.)

This fully pulled-together bit of loveliness.


The Amazing Freakin' Spiderman.

This artist's rendering of Jesus.
I'm guessing it's because of the beard (see also: Benjamin Harrison).

These feet on the Land of Nod catalog cover, which she scribbled on.

This balloon wearing a headband.
Gerry drew a face on it because he knew Madeline would call it Mama, based on the fact that she calls EVERYTHING Mama. He assumed this would be hilarious.
If you'd like to send him flowers, I can give you the address of the hospital where he's recovering.

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P said...

GOL. Giggle out loud :)
My 20 month old is finally saying Mama, which makes me smile.
"Mama eat dodo (donut)." An observation which wipes the smile (and donut crumbs) off my face.

Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 said...

My son's first word was "baby," while pointing to a picture of himself. Because the world revolves around him. Can you tell he's an only child?

RobynHTV said...

Ha! Toddlers aren't known for being big flatterers, are they? ;)

RobynHTV said...

Of course! There are a lot of adults that still haven't figured out humanity's big secret - that the world revolves around *everyone.* If you ask them, anyway.

Cat said...

Awww...all those things she LOVES, just like her Momma!

RobynHTV said...

The zelf, maybe. President Harrison? I'm not so sure. ;)

Anonymous said...

Have you read her the book, "Are You My Mother?" ?

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

It could be worse. My two year old is constantly mixing up Benjamin Harrison with Grover Cleveland. I don't know what I'm going to do with her.

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms said...

I was laughing through the whole post. You surprised me with the angle it took. Well played. Give Gerry a kick in the ribs, I meant a hug, from me. Ellen

The Third Partier said...

I swear to...

I don't want flowers. Send booze. The night nurse said she'd let me have it as long as I share.

Let's not forget that you are also: Mila Kunis, Anne Hathaway, Audrey Hepburn, every one of my four sisters, AND the ghair beneath the chair in the same Suess book.

p.s. She knew full well she was saying my name when she said "Da."

BadParentingMoments said...

My baby does this too. She said DADA first even though she will barely let her father hold her and she calls all hairy animals mama. I should shave. The balloon is my favorite (sorry).

RobynHTV said...

I think maddie narrated that one. ;)

RobynHTV said...

How embarrassing! Everyone knows they're both Taft.

RobynHTV said...

Always a pleasure. Thanks, Ellen!

RobynHTV said...

These are all lies! Okay, no they aren't. I'm gonna cut that night nurse, though.

RobynHTV said...

Confidentially, it's my favorite, too. xo to you, fellow goat mama

Mariann said...

This post is truly funny. Poor mama. My little gal recently started acknowledging me as the mama and now she's driving me insane. She YELLS, "MAAAAAAAA!!!!!! MA! MA! MA!" at the top of her lungs ALL DAY! Yours will be there....sooner than you realize. LOL

RobynHTV said...

Ohhhhhh yes, believe me! She screams my name from across the house, while everyone else laughs and encourages her. It's practically the only time she says it when she's talking to ME, so of course it's classified as completely adorable. ;)

TNMom said...

This is hysterical! I loved the feet one...I was thinking, oh - it's anything with a FACE...then? FEET. LOL! Mine "mama" me to death. I will have 4 pots on the stove, holding a hot pan in one hand and a glass of wine with the other, and checking my twitter - my hubby: SITTING 2 FEET FROM THEM DOING NOTHING, and they will be "maaaaamaaaa!! mom!! mommy!! mooooooooommmmmm!!" Seriously?!?!? what about your precious daddy!?!?! Worse, he will just sit there tuning out the mom cries, they're not calling HIS name!
Love ya momma! <3 Devan

Unknown said...

Are your facial hair likenesses more prevalent when you're due for a waxing? I look a little like that whisker girl right now.

RobynHTV said...

They're relentless, aren't they? Then when they finally get your attention, they don't even want anything but to show you that their crayon is orange. Mine only yells MA from across the house (because someone told her to do it, to annoy me) or 3 inches from my face at the dinner table - again, for no good reason. My husband's usually laughing too hard to jump in and help a mama out. ;)

RobynHTV said...

I should check into that. Do they have a full-body dip service? I could take care of a lot if problems at once that way. Especially if I just left the wax on.

LA Botchar said...

Mine are the opposite. I'd do anything to get my youngest to stop saying "mama, mama, mama, mama, mama, Mama, Mama.....MAMA!!"
*exasperated* "Yes, ZooZoo, what?"

wait for it...


*internal voice* You are so lucky God made you cute.

RobynHTV said...

Love it! I say, "You're lucky you're cute" at least twice, every day. A lot of times I'm talking to my husband, though. ;)

Anonymous said...

Everything is mama here too, especially when she is frustrated. I get blamed for all of her problems...I didn't think it would happen so soon.

RobynHTV said...

It surprises me every time - with each of my kids it was always MamaMamaMama when they were mad or upset. Sigh. At least we know there's one person in the house who thinks we're competent enough to handle problems, right ?

The Third Partier said...

True story.

The Third Partier said...

Yeah, but what do they know? :P

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