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It all starts with the voice. Baby knows mom’s voice before it can see mom’s face very well. Life is gray and fuzzy for a newborn, but to Baby, mom’s voice is the music that soothes, the earliest soundtrack playing in this new life’s background. Mom talks, even from a room or two away, and an infant’s eyes react, getting a little bigger, or as they get a little older, they start to turn their head in the direction of that beautiful voice.
Makes sense. Baby has been listening to mom’s voice all along. Whether it was a late night phone call to grandma with fears about the delivery, or mom giving a presentation at work, Baby is listening. Baby already knows mom’s favorite song and the way dad sounds on a slow Sunday morning, long before she or he can make any sounds themselves.
Before long, Baby learns that, that beautiful voice has a name. The name, ‘Mama’ is the new music heard throughout the house because Mama wants to show off Baby’s new skill and is thrilled to hear her name after the months and months of late nights and early mornings blending together. Mama and Dada mean everything and just a smile from one of them brings Baby to giggles. Life is sweet.
The soundtrack quickly adds multiple tracks, including the delightful tunes of Raffi and the silly interactive tunes of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’. We want to teach Baby about the world and Baby wants to learn everything, the curiosity can not be contained.
Fast forward a few years. Mama has evolved to Mommy. Baby is now Kid. Kid likes to wear the same tutu every. single. day, Kid only eats chicken nuggets and a certain brand of macaroni and cheese. Must be the little elbow noodles, Mommy, NOT the shells! This is extremely important because the shells do not taste as good, Mommy. The soundtrack now includes several tantrums a day, dishes flinging to the floor when chicken nuggets are not on the menu, and the sound of the kitchen timer beeping when it is needed to keep track of the time out chair.
Current stage in my Mom-volution is ‘Moaaaahm’. I am incredibly frustrating. I am the reminder in the morning that the toothbrush actually needs to move around in the Big Kids mouth to be effective, I am the mom who asks if the homework is done, and then the Moaaaahm who asks to go over it with them when the answers are wrong. I am the one who wakes the child from their Youtube coma to join the family for dinner—and actually makes Big Kid talk about the day to us. The soundtrack is gaining the sound of doors slamming and exasperated sighs because Moaaaahm is so annoying. You can even hear the eye rolling that has begun. Who knew eye rolling could be heard and even felt?!?
Yep, that’s my current role, but I’m okay with it because I know someday, I’ll just be Mom and maybe even Mommy again every once in a while, when we’re talking about a broken heart or a really tough day at a new job. Every mom before has been through these stages and every mom of the future will experience them in her own way. That’s what we do.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely days when I would love to go back to the ‘Mama’ years when smiles were abundant because smiling was the best and newest skill in the baby handbook. I love this stage too, though, because my kids know we’re in this together, even if I do annoy them like crazy, they know 100% without a doubt that my love for them is fierce and unconditional.
Wishing all of the mamas in the Andreas family a very Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy your day—no matter what stage of the Mom-volution you’re in!