Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have been taking care of a two year old boy a few times a week since he was 6 months old. His mom is a nurse who works nights, so when I have him, it’s for the whole day so she can sleep. Now that he can talk, he says the cutest little phrases and can be so much fun, but one thing is troubling me. He flat out refuses to call me by my name, insisting on calling me “Mom” – about 500 times a day. When I try to correct him, he just laughs and repeats “MOM!” And will continue to say it again and again until I answer him.
This is really cute and kind of heartwarming that he sees me in that way, but I’m really worried that his mother will be upset or hurt by this if she finds out – or might even suspect me telling him to call me that! She already gets her feelings hurt that he throws a fit when she comes to get him and take him home, I can only imagine what she might say to him calling me “Mom”!
So, do I tell her? Do I not bring it up? Do I refuse to answer him unless he says my real name? I’m really at a loss, this is not something I’ve ever encountered in my 23 years of babysitting!
Something tells me that this kid knows that you’re not his mother and gets a huge kick out the game he’s playing with you. And that something is my immense wisdom and natural beauty and genteel breeding. Why, there are days when I sit in front of a mirror and marvel- oh, sorry. Back to you.
Chances are he’s calling you Mom because Mom stands for all things good and safe and not because he thinks you’re his mother.
Or he could be a moron. So hard to tell with kids these days. Of course he may be calling you Mom because it gets a rise out of you. Can he break you and get you to respond to Mom as opposed to your name? Of course! He’s got all day!
You have a few choices:
First, you can Take Him On! Let him know that if he calls you Mom, you’ll call him Grandpa. This may get him to stop, or may lead you down the path of going absolutely insane as he rejoices in his new moniker. This is the part where I draw your attention to the disclaimer at the bottom of this page. We are here for entertainment. And disclaim all liability for the harm that may come to you.
Second, you can ignore it. Chances are the fun of calling you Mom will wear off if you don’t reward it with attention.
But whatever you decide, definitely tell his mother about it. Let her know that you believe that this is a phase that he’s going through, suggest your plan for dealing with it and ask her for her input. Hopefully the two of you being on the same page and using the award-winning strategies in this post will make him lose interest in calling you Mom sooner rather than later.
Keep us posted!