Aaron came home one day last week, bounding in the door in his usual bounding way. Immediately I heard his routine, “Mom!” He continued to call my name as he made the rounds of the house until he found me. It never fails. Not that he finds me………..I can’t hide that well. It never fails that he calls “Mom!” repeatedly throughout the house. I have told him over and over to quit yelling out “Mom!” but to wait until he finds me, and then he can say “Mom” and proceed with his tall tale or his question or his observation or his question………..quietly. This is foreign and unacceptable to Aaron, obviously, so I just waited as he yelled “Mom!” and then as he walked in my bedroom I proceeded with my hello and how are you………none of which he was interested in at the moment.
“Mom!” he continued. “I was wondering about something today.”
He waited for my response, to be sure I was listening or interested…………not sure which.
What were you wondering about today, Aaron?
“Well, I was wondering if I can call you Patty and call Dad, Gary.”
Oh boy. Here we go.
Aaron, why do you want to call your dad and I by our first names?
He answered, “I’m just tired of calling you Mom and Dad.”
So proceeded our evening conversation, continuing throughout supper preparation and throughout our time of waiting for Dad (aka Gary) to return home from work. Aaron could not really define why he was tired of calling Gary and I by our usual titles of Mom and Dad. However, he assured us that he was very tired of the Mom and Dad routine, and that Gary and Patty would suit him so much better.
Sure enough, during supper Aaron didn’t waste much time before approaching Gary (sometimes referred to as Dad) with his newfound name change. “Dad, I told Mom that I want to start calling you guys Gary and Patty.”
Of course, Gary agreed with me because I’m Mom (or is that Patty?). He told Aaron that he should not call us by our first names but by our titles of Mom and Dad. We struggle enough with instilling respect for others in our very vocal Aaron. We both tried to make him understand that calling us by our first names would be showing a lack of respect. I don’t know why we thought that this would matter to Aaron.
Gary (Dad to our children, except one), asked Aaron why he didn’t want to call us Mom and Dad. Aaron replied, “It’s just weird!”
Since when is it weird to call Mom and Dad…………Mom and Dad? Aaron couldn’t quite answer that question. I tried a different approach as I told him about given names and that his given name is Aaron, my given name is indeed Patty as well as his Dad’s given name is Gary. BUT our title to our children is MOM and DAD.
Aaron listened. I felt that I had made an important break through in this stalemate. Pointing to myself, I asked, “So Aaron, who am I?”
Without batting an eye, he answered, “Patty.”
I should never have told him to quit yelling “Mom!”