Two mornings ago, as is our custom, I strapped Eve-alicious into her upstairs bouncey seat, filled her lap with miniature stuffed bears, teething rings and other paraphenalia, and sat back down at my vanity to dry my hair. Eve, as is also her custom, proceeded to fling the various paraphenalia around the vicinity of her bouncey seat, babble incessantly and drool copiously.
Just like any other morning.
Except, this morning, two mornings ago, Evie hollered out six VERY passable “Mama’s” and one EXTREMELY convincing “Da”.
Y’all, it is ON.
Evie has now become the centerpiece of a competition so fierce, so impassioned, so CRAZY, it makes the Olympics look like your friendly neighborhood Field Day. Of course, Evie thinks it’s hilarious when two grown adults get in her face, point to themselves and shout, “MAMA!” and “DADDY!” She smiles her big dimpled grin, spits some drool on us and declares, “Yayayayayayaya-mooooo!”
Then twenty minutes later, when I’m cleaning out the litter box in the other room, I hear, distinctly, “Maaaaama!” I run in, scooper in one hand and bag full of poop in the other, shouting, “Did she say it? She said it!”
Gill looks at the baby, looks at me and mumbles, “I didn’t hear nothin'”.
He’s a liar.
Well, okay, that was a complete fabrication exaggeration, and, to be completely honest, my heart would melt just as quickly if she looked at Gill one day and said, “Dada”. Everyone would know then how, much like my own father, Gill will be forever and always, until the day he dies, at the complete mercy of the total and all-encompassing love he has for his little girl. And, everyone would also know then how, much like myself, Evie will forever and always, until the day she dies, look upon her father with complete adoration.
Because, and I know this first hand, there is no love in the world like the one that exists between daddies and little girls.
But, all that being said, if she did say “Mama” first, Gill would have to bite me, sucka!
Now, you should know that Evie has no idea what “Mama” and “Da” mean when she says them. For all she knows, bless her heart, “Mama” is a doorknob and “Da” is her thumb. But soon she’ll know. And then, like I said, it is on.
This all started when we jokingly tried to get Evie to say “Obama”. Not that we’re trying to force our political beliefs on our child or anything. I mean, it is still a possibility that Evie Langston could grow up to be the next Alex P. Keaton, a steadfast Republican in a house full of bedwettin’ liberals and bad ’80’s furniture.
But, while she’s still language-challenged, we thought it be fun to hear her say the man’s name. It was all a joke. Until she started saying it. Yes, that’s right.
So, now it’s not so funny anymore. I really don’t want my child’s first word to be “Obama”. I mean, I have the utmost respect for the man, and I think his wife is fabulous and his girls are adorable, but…no. And, really, it’s an easy word for babies. Lots of vowels and soft consonants that roll off the tongue. But, again, no.
So, we stopped trying to get her to say it. And, I think, “Obama” has evolved into the beginnings of “Mama”. And I think “Da” comes from, well I think it comes from the place where little girls first learn to wrap a man tightly and securely around their plump, pink little fingers.
We’ll see. Hell, she might end up calling Gill and me something totally different. Edie Sedgewick called her father “Fuzzy”, for Pete’s sake. And there’s always “Marmee” from Little Women. Eeesh.
“Obama”, it is, then. Obama, Evie!