When Lillian was less than 2 months old, we took her to a meetup at the Aquarium for other kids with two moms. She slept through almost the whole evening, except for some nursing and fish staring, but we had a great time. The group is not very active and is primarily centered around the DC Metro area, but when we are able, we try to be involved. I think it is important for Lillian to have exposure to kids “like her” and for us to be able to commiserate with other LGBT families.
One of the most important things that another couple asked us during that first meetup with Lillian — now over 7 months ago — was what we wanted her to call us. Mom? Mommy? Mama? Another fun variation? We had thought about it during my entire pregnancy and were confident that Lauren would be mommy and I would be mama, a decision that we still love and uphold.
The second most important thing that they said to us was directed at Lauren, when they cautioned her not to be miffed when Lillian learned to say “mama” first. It makes sense. It is an easy thing to say. Nowadays, it is probably her favorite thing to say, next to baba which she gleefully screams all the time.
Little did I know though, that Lillian would love saying mama — to Lauren, all the time. There is nothing more wonderful than hearing her little voice and imagining what it will sound like when full words and sentences form, but there is something strange about seeing her look up at Lauren excitedly and exclaim “MAMA!” with open arms. I know that she says this two syllable word to everything and that she probably doesn’t really associate it with us, but sometimes I do secretly wish she knew and said it to me. I guess it is all relative though, because she does call the dog, her foot, the car and any food object mama as well.
As far as the “other” word goes (dada), I think we are successfully avoiding that one for now — even though I excitedly bought her the Eric Carle book “Mr. Seahorse” before realizing it was a book about the wonderfulness that is the daddy fish in the sea. Guess that will teach me to read a book before I buy it. I am approaching it as a feminist baby book that is teaching Lillian that traditional family roles are fluid 🙂