Ma Ma Mia

“Mom!”

I hear it a gazillion times a day. Some days, I would even say my name is overused. Abused, really.

“Mom! He called me a turd monkey!”

“Mom! She won’t stop repeating me!”

“Mom! She won’t stop repeating me!”

“Mahhhhhhm!”

“Mahhhhhhm!”

While my two older kids seem to begin every sentence with my name, my youngest, Willow, has yet to utter it. At 21 months old, Willow can say “buh buh” for brother, “bah bah” for bye bye, “pah pah” for puppy, “ah dah” for all done, “hah yah” for hello and “dah dah” for daddy. She’s also a rock star at repeating animal sounds. But no “ma ma” yet. At least not intentionally. Willow will make “m” sounds when babbling and will even say “mah mah mah,” but not directed toward me.

Because Willow has Down syndrome, she works hard to meet every milestone. Those milestones also come at a slower pace than most other children. I’m ok with that. But, I must admit that I long to hear my name. That milestone can’t come soon enough.

Today I found myself saying “ma ma” over and over and over again as I fed Willow her lunch. Most times she would smile at me. A few times, she even leaned in to hug me. But, no “ma ma” in return. It’s like she knows what the word means, but has no desire to say it. Should I take this personally?

My husband is quick to point out that “da da” doesn’t come often, but it comes! Mostly when he leaves for work. Sometimes, when he returns. Maybe I need to find a day job!

For as often as it’s said around here, you would think Willow would be a “ma ma” master by now. Maybe she, like me, thinks the word is overused? Or maybe she’s insecure? Worried, that she’ll never be as good at saying it as her big brother and sister. They are professionals, after all.

While mums the word at the moment, I am determined to change that to “mom,” or “ma ma” or even “ma.” Heck, I’d be fine with “mmmm!” That’s doable, isn’t it? I know I’m being selfish, but I feel like I’ve earned the right at this point. I mean, I do everything for the girl. Hey! That gives me an idea! Maybe guilt might work! But then again, it doesn’t work on my older kids. Why would it work on Willow? An extra chromosome may delay her speech, but she’s still a smarty. And I’d say she’s got this “ma ma” right where she wants her. Wrapped around her cute little finger.

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