Monday, September 24, 2007

What's in a Name?

Dada was Lucas's first word. He seemed to use it indiscriminately at first and then started assigning it exclusively to Abel. I didn't mind. Especially because pretty much every morning Lucas yells out for Dada. For months and months this got Abel out of bed first and allowed me a few extra precious moments of sleep. (Unfortunately Abel finally figured out that he was ending up with morning duty every single morning and we hashed out a schedule.)

Lucas started saying Mama a few months ago and of course that melted my heart. Except that he seemed to be using Mama pretty indiscriminately, too. Oh well. I thought it was great that he referred to both of us as either Mama or Dada. It didn't matter to him. Triumph for equal and co-parenting, I thought! Good for us! No gender roles here! He views Mama and Dada as equal and interchangeable!

Except that I have now realized that Lucas uses Mama for anyone--my mom, his babysitter, random people in stores--when he is asking for something. I do believe that Mama means "hey you, I need/want/demand something and you can get it for me." He says it in a pleading, heart-breaking, begging way. Maaaamaaaaaa.

So what does that say about gender roles?

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