Personal: Why we use Mother and Father instead of Mummy and Daddy06:45
Since Dragon was born, we’ve never used the words ‘mummy and
daddy’ around him. Instead it has always been, “Here’s father” “Come to
mother” “Why don’t you have a quick cuddle with mother before playing with
father” etc. Let me right away state this is not a criticism of people who use ‘mummy’, most of the country does and we see no problem with
the terms “mummy and daddy”. This is just a personal preference, and there is no
issues with the term ‘mummy’ in itself, it’s cute, easy to say and works for
most families. But we don’t use it, and here is my simple reasons
Firstly: I found myself speaking to my son differently when dropping the word ‘mummy’.
This is very much my own personal experience, but when Dragon was little and I leant over my new-born boy and spoke, I found my tone and my language changed when I used ‘mother’ instead of ‘mummy’. When using ‘mummy’ I often seemed to revert to baby talk. “An’t yoo a coot baby, mummy luv you suuuu much, goochy goochy gooo!” I am not a baby talk fan. I wanted to get in the habit of speaking to my son even from infancy in a respectful manner. He is a baby, but we’ve always wanted to raise him with the same respect as one would an elderly citizen. We might be wiping his bottom and spoon-feeding him, but he is entitled to dignity and so we speak and treat him as such. Somehow when using the term ‘mother’, I didn’t seem to fall into the same habit. “Mummy luuuves yooo!” became “Mother loves you!” Again not a criticism of baby talk, it’s just not my cup of tea.
Secondly: It’s just so adorable when you see a child use ‘mother’.That’s really it. I am aware that one would assume my second reason would be that it sounds ‘posh’, but that’s irrelevant to me. My partner refers to his mum as ‘mother’, a habit he began as an adult, and I love it. “Come here mother, let me help you” I’ve always loved it. I also once encountered a little barefooted boy running across a field shouting “Mother, mother, come see this!” and it was just the cutest. When I suggested to my partner we use ‘mother and father’ I expected more hesitation, but he didn’t even dwell on it. The hardest bit has been getting used to the term ourselves, I found myself naturally saying “Ah, give mummy a hug” and have had to catch myself a few times. If it slips out, it slips out, but the change hasn’t been that difficult.
A curious bit of trivia: My baby still says ‘mamama’ and ‘dadadada’. I have several friends that that swear that when their baby says ‘mama’, it means mother and ‘dada’ means father, and I am not in a place to disagree with them. It’s their children, they know their home situation best so it would be arrogant of me to claim their babies were only babbling. I can only speak from my own experience, and that is that little Dragon loves to shout ‘mamama’ and ‘dadada’ and also ‘bababa’ on top of his lungs, and I’ve never assumed it had anything to do with myself. ‘Dadada’ seem to be used when excited, he shouts it a lot when his father comes home, but also when I open the blinds in the bedroom or I am about to run him a bath. I asked a single mum I know from group if her daughter that rarely saw her dad, still said ‘dadada’, and she said yes. It had confused her at first, but she too eventually agreed that it was just her baby practising her sounds. Curiously when you ask little Dragon, “Where is father”, he will however run up and pat his dad vigorously. But once more allow me to stress, if you feel that when your baby says ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ it is definitely referring to you, then you are right and I am in no place to tell you differently.