Sticks and Stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
There are many names we are called in this life, not all of them good. 'Mum' is one such name that I'm happy to be called and it is only available for use by one rather special human being.
Actually that's not entirely true because I'm often referred to as 'Carly's Mum' by her school mates. "Carly's Mum? Can you un-do my jacket please?" "Carly's Mum, are you listening to us read today", or once, "Hey Carly's Mum, I like your new sneakers."
However, 'Mum' can be used in with so many meanings, inflections, demands and in many emotional contexts. Here are just a few:
Muuuuummmmm....? - I'm still awake Mum, I'm not sleepy at all. I need a glass of water, I want you to come and see me in bed right now, can you please you to tell me that there's not a big boogie man hiding in my dolls house.... OK, so if he's not in there, but what's that thing on the top? Oh yeah, it's my stuffed unicorn. Can you please put it in the lounge room - but NOT so that the dog can chew it, OK?
Mum! Mum!! Mum where are you!!! - I'm very hot and sweaty and crying because I've had a really yucky, nasty dream. You know the one where a big strange man is chasing me and I can find my way home and..... I've wet the bed Mum. Sorry. Can I sleep in your bed? ....Yeah I know that Daddy's in there too, but can't he go into the spare room?
Hey Mum!? Mum, where are my shoes? Oh yeah, they're right here. Sorry. Yeah, sorry, next time I'll come into the kitchen and ask you instead of yelling like that. Hey Mum!!? What did you do with my glitter gl----forget that, it's right here in my pencil case. Where's my school bag?
(Tap tap on shoulder, whispering) .....mum? Can you ask Holly's mum to let me have another chocolate biscuit? You never ever get me anything nice to eat like that. Holly's really lucky because she has freddo frogs whenever she feels like it and never has to eat any vegetables and is allowed to drink coke. Can I have a sleepover here tonight?
Mum, look at me! Lookatme lookatme lookatme lookatme lookatme!! Did you see it? Did you see what I did? Watch mum, watch. Now! Mum, did you see it? Did you? Look now Mum, I'll do it again! Did you see it, did you see it, did you see it?
(Tap tap on side of face whilst still sleeping). MUM! WAKE UP! IT'S NOT A SCHOOL DAY! You said that we were going to Elicia's party today. Is it time yet? Is Dad going to make us pancakes today like he did last time? Can I wear my purple dress there today? Do I have to eat fruit before the party like you always make me do? Even though it's dark outside, it's still time to get up, isn't it? The red light on your clock says Six-Oh-Nine, is that six hundred and nine minutes? How long would it take to count up to six hundred and nine..... MUM? You're not even listening, you've got your eyes closed!
(Running faster than wile coyote) Here Mum - I don't need this jumper on anymore, catch! I'm too hot and I'm 'IT' and have to chase Luke...... I'll do my laces up later Mum, I can see him hiding behind the tree because his bum's sticking out. Ooops, I didn't mean to say BUM because BUM's a bad word isn't it Mum, even though grandma sometimes says BUM too, doesn't she?
(Grabbing my elbow) Mum? He's not really dead, is he? Isn't Mr Percival going to wake up? Why are you crying? I thought you said that Storm Boy was one of your favourite movies. Is he really dead or just pretending? Is he now living at the zoo?
(At the supermarket dairy case) Hey Mum, what's that smell?.... Oh, sorry, I'll be quieter next time. But Mum, why don't all grown ups know how to have showers and smell nice? Is he poor? Should we give him some money to buy some soap?
(Driving past the golden arches) Mu-u-u-u-um, can we have take-away for tea tonight please? P-l-e-a-s-e? Pretty please? I know it's unhealthy but you said it's OK every now and then. You always eat chocolate every night after I go to bed, don't you, so how come I can't get a happy meal? Awwwwww Mu-u-u-u-u-um, it's not fair!
(In the bath) Mum, why do grown ups have hairs on their bottoms? You don't know, hmmm, OK, I'll ask Daddy when he gets home. Will he know? How come he has hairs growing out of his nose and you don't?
(To Grandma) That's alright Grandma, Mum told me that you wouldn't be able to work the video because you're old and electronically challenged.... What else... oh yeah she also said that you never bought her a trampoline when she was growing up, so that's why she jumped on Holly's at their new year's eve party. Didn't she tell you about that? It was really funny. Her skirt flew up over her head and she fell off into the geraniums.
MUM! What are you doing here Mum? I wanted Dad!