I have a name. It begins with M and ends with Y. But, contrary to popular belief, my name is not Mummy.
So I was understandably perplexed when the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine appeared to forget this basic fact and started calling me Mummy.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m a mum now. I know that once Frog graduates from Mamamama, I will be known by her as Mummy. And I don’t mind that. In fact, I positively look forward to it.
But that doesn’t mean everyone else should know me as Mummy too. I mean, I’m not their mummy, am I?
I’m not talking about those instances where people attempt small talk through your baby, asking things like “And how does your mummy feel about you waking up four times last night?” I know that’s inevitable and part of social convention when you have a child. I accept that.
But when someone’s speaking to me directly, I don’t expect them to refer to me as Mummy, because that’s not my name.
I attempted to explain this to the NLM last night during bath-time, after he asked “Mummy, can you pass me the towel please so I can dry the baby?” I ignored him, stubbornly refusing to answer until he asked me again, using my actual name. Petty? Probably (you know me, ever the mature and responsible adult). But it feels strange answering him when he calls me Mummy.
The thing is, he takes a very different view to this whole name thing. He thinks this is what happens when you become a family. Mum is Mum and Dad is Dad, whoever is doing the talking. Yes, if the baby’s in bed he’ll use my name, but when she’s around I’m always Mummy.
And I think that’s all a bit weird.
My parents never called each other Mum or Dad. If they were talking about each other to me then, yes, it was “Mum says this” or “Dad says that”. But not if they were speaking to each other directly. At those times, their actual names served perfectly well.
I don’t like the idea of calling the NLM Dad. I have a dad, thank you very much. He’s 60, has a slight tum on him and is, well, my dad. I don’t go to bed with him every night. I’m not marrying him this summer. Because, oh yes, HE’S MY DAD!
So I’m sticking to my guns on this one. I’m Molly (unless I’ve given birth to you, in which case Mummy is just fine).