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Thursday, January 30, 2014

So Many Mamas

This Millie Bea is a girl of few words. She has a good amount, but not nearly as many as her girlfriends do. Throughout the day she talks a lot in just "Mama"s, and let me tell you something... this girl has So Many Mamas! Here are a few of the major ones:

The first thing I hear when she wakes up is the "come get me" or the "I'm ready" Mama. It's a loud and drawn out call, but not urgent or anything. Just how I taught her to do it when she needs help. "Mamaaaa!"

Of course there's the whiney "Ma-ha-ma", most often heard when food is not happening fast enough. For example, immediately following first breakfasts, which is to tide her over while I'm preparing actual breakfast. This "Mama" is usually accompanied by a tugging at my leg, a pout of the lip, a stumbling backwards as if one is about to faint from upset-ness, or all of the above.

There's a particular "Mama" she uses to alert me to silliness. This "Mama" is said in a chuckling voice, with eyebrows raised. Like when her pretend animals have gotten themselves into a situation of humor- they've all piled into the wagon for a ride, one of them has been placed with the sleeping (real) cat, or perhaps Peter Rabbit has been drinking my tea again. She also uses this "Mama" when she sees a picture of a baby or animal, and when the pets are doing something cute.

Then there's the tattle "Mama", said in a high-pitched voice and accompanied by pointing- "Mama! Mama! Mama!" Mostly this is reserved for Sneaky Pete, when he's barking out the window or scratching the wall next to the door. This happens multiple times a day.

Her questioning "Mama?" is mostly used during play, meaning "Mama do you want to do this with me?", "... read this book", "... drink this pretend soup", etc. Also when she's telling me to do something, like take a sip of water, she'll do the questioning "Mama?" and a smile.

A slight variation on the "questioning Mama" is the proud "do you want to come see what I did?" Mama. This one happens a lot while I'm cooking dinner or doing anything in a separate room from her. It goes a little something like this:
Millie: (comes walking into the room with her hands folded on her belly) "Mama?"
Me: "Yes Millie?"
Millie: "Mama?" (smiling now, perhaps nodding her head yes)
Me: "Yes baby, what is it?"
Millie: "Mama?" (extending a hand towards whatever it is she wants to show me, like when a waiter seats you at a restaurant)
Of course I know what she's doing, but I can't resist having her go through the whole routine. Usually she's been organizing her belongings or putting blankets on her animals. Pending a positive reaction from the Mama, this scenario can go on repeating itself for quite a while and turns into a game of it's own.

At bedtime tonight I heard my favorite "Mama". One that doesn't happen every day like the others. It's a rare one, reserved for very intimate moments. Similar though to the other "Mama"s she uses, this one cannot be explained in a one-word translation. This is a magical one that is loaded with emotion- contentment, fulfillment, peacefulness, extreme joy... and then beyond that there is no word that exists to describe the feeling. We had such a wonderful day today, my girl and I. When it was time to snuggle down for sleep, I lied down facing her and placed my hand on her back. We wiggled towards each other until we were face-to-face. Then the sweet lamb put her hands on my cheeks and rubbed her nose and forehead against mine. She pulled back a little to see my eyes, but kept her hands on my cheeks. Then she sighed the coveted "Mama...", meaning "Here we are together, Mama. Don't we just love each other so much."

My baby. So many things I want to remember.


  1. This is so sweet. Thank you so much for sharing. xo

    1. So glad you enjoyed it. In contrast, "Teta" is used only to mean an actual Teta... such as when one is putting pretend cookies in the oven and chanting "Teta, Teta, Teta, Teta" as each one goes in.

  2. Sweet! And so much like her Mama when she was a little one. ox

  3. Enjoyed reading this very much, it's a little window into Millie's personality when she is most at home. :-) She must have so much going on in her mind (imaginary play, problem solving, her social developments) that worry about using new words is taking a back seat for now. And "Mama" is just so versatile!

    1. Good point! I never thought of that :)

  4. thanks for making me cry at my desk!

  5. Oh my, what a wonderful entry. This is one that all three of you will treasure, and is so well written, Helen. Thanks for letting us join you and Millie through your day this way...I can just imagine those little expressions. Sending our love to you all.
    Nana xoxo