For the last few days I have been waking up to a tiny hand patting my face as a new little voice lisps sleepily, "MaMA mama MAma MAMA Mamamamamama!"
Thing 2 has spoken her first words! They make me smile before my eyes have even opened. No matter how brutal the night, no matter how many marathon hours of teething-baby-nursing I have sat awake for, nope, doesn't matter. She said my name sweetly therefore I love her.
It has made me think of that old quote,
"Mother is the name for god in the lips and hearts of little children."
-William Makepeace Thackeray Vanity Fair
(When I first read this I was young and single and thought, "Whoa, that is so deep and beautiful. Mothers are so powerful and strong and worship-deserving." This was before I realized that while Mothers are indeed powerful and strong and worship-deserving, they are also fucking tired burnt out exhausted needing of showers and drinks. Still. It's a nice quote.)
However, being the "god" of children has it's downside. Thing 2 is in that new convert stage of awe and devotion. I provide her with the miraculous booby-juice and 24 hour care. I wipe her little bum, I bounce her to sleep. I am, if I do say so myself, fairly awesome. And since she is doing very little wrong just yet, I am also very benevolent.
Thing 1, on the other hand, is in that disillusioned stage of a devotee. She wants more from her god than just cuddles. She wants Popsicles. And ponies. And sometimes hot air balloon rides. When god doesn't answer the way she wants, she is not very happy. Apparently her god has some rules and requirements for all this bounty. When she disobeys, well, she gets a little fire and brimstone action.
She is also realizing that she has options. She can make choices about obeying or disobeying. Maybe she doesn't need a god. After all, she can reach high shelves and climb on chairs and open doors and count to twenty and tell you all about 4 out of 7 planets. She is reaching demi-god status herself. As a result, she has started using the name of her god with a little less reverence than before:
"MOM! Mooooooom! MOMEEEEEE!!!! MOM! MOM! MOM! Mommy! MOMMY! MOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!"
It can be like sandpaper on my eardrums. There are days, I have to admit, that I absolutely hate that word.
But then after a really rough day, Thing 1 will find me, crawl into my lap, frame my face so gently with her tiny hands and whisper, "Mamma. I love you. I love my Mama."
My heart will melt, and just like that she is a tiny baby again lisping my name for the first time. I play my role of long suffering parent to my prodigal daughter, and hug her, and kiss her, and tell her I love her too.
And forgive her for all the times she has taken my name in vain.