Mum’s the word ... not “Mummy”

Aasma Day
Aasma Day
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When you have children, you’re filled with excitement at their every milestone.

From their first proper smile which isn’t just their face contorting with wind to seeing them take their first teetering steps, there’s a real joy in sharing these precious “firsts”.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has her hand kissed by her son Prince Charles at the end of the Queen's Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace, London, Monday, June 4, 2012. The concert is a part of four days of celebrations to mark the 60 year reign of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has her hand kissed by her son Prince Charles at the end of the Queen's Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace, London, Monday, June 4, 2012. The concert is a part of four days of celebrations to mark the 60 year reign of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

But some “firsts” are more gut-wrenching than others.

Many parents will be anxiously preparing for their child starting school and getting tearful at the prospect.

It only seems like five minutes since our twins were starting school – and they were so thrilled at their new adventure, they barely gave us a backwards glance as they hurtled into the classroom.

We then saw our “babies” leave primary school and go to “big school” and this time round, they’ll be starting their second year of high school.

However, just because our children are growing up, it doesn’t mean those poignant parenthood moments stop.

Hubby and I recently experienced such an occasion when our children began referring to us as “Mum” and “Dad” instead of “Mummy” and “Daddy”.

Being renamed was like entering an unknown territory.

I know who “Mummy” is as that’s who I’ve been to our twosome all their life.

“Mummy” is who they’ve looked to for food and nourishment; who they’ve chattered incessantly to and gone to for cuddles and hugs.

Who is this interloper called “Mum” invading our home? What’s she doing trying to steal my identity?

And while we’re at it, who’s this “Dad” person? Our home seems to be getting overcrowded with strangers.

Granted, Hubby and I have enjoyed “Mummy” and “Daddy” status for longer than most as some children ditch these monikers years before. In fact, it’s usually being surrounded by friends at school and hearing what they call their parents that leads youngsters down this road.

Being called “Mum” and “Dad” is another glimpse of our children growing up and becoming more independent.

Even though I’ve loved being “Mummy” and will mourn her, I’ll embrace being “Mum” – after all I don’t want them teased at school.

In fact, it was when our son had some friends round recently and we were about to take them home, that I put my foot in it and realised Hubby and I now had new names.

“Do you want to go and get into Daddy’s car.” I said blithely while my lad gave me daggers and hissed: “Dad’s!”

I do feel satisfaction as at home, our children still prefer calling us “Mummy” and “Daddy” – just as long as their friends aren’t in earshot.

Apparently, the posher you are, the longer you keep on calling your parents “Mummy” and “Daddy” –Prince Charles still calls the Queen: “Mummy.”

I have to admit I find couples who call each other “Mummy” and “Daddy” when their children aren’t even around a bit cringesome. And I don’t like it when children call their parents by their first names.

I’m sure I’ll still be “Mummy” when my children want something. But from now on, mum’s the word.