When Westley was very new, my mother told me, "Little boys love their mothers." At the time, this seemed like an over-simplified response, not matching up to my feelings of inadequacy. I thought I knew all about mother-daughter relationships from personal experience, but the mother-son thing was a complete mystery. I remember thinking, Whatever. Of course little boys love their mothers.
Um, yeah. About that? I had no idea. I take back all of my internal psh-ing and eye-rolling. But to give myself the benefit of the doubt, my mother did not include nearly enough O's in her statement. This is not "love." The depth of passion we're talking here is something out of romance novels. This is multi-syllabic love.
Westley has been saying "Mama" for a long time now, but a few months ago, he started sighing it. When he was happy with me, I started being not just "Mama" anymore. I became "Mmaaahhh-muh." The emphasis goes up, then down. Like he's purring and kind of out of breath. And he gets this glazed-over passionate look when he says it, like he's on something. When he does it, I feel like he's hitting on me.
To add to the seduction, he likes to follow his "Mmaaahhh-muh"s with a big smack of a kiss. At least he knows how to pucker his lips now. He used to just open his mouth wide and lick me.
Do all toddler boys do this Mommy-passion thing, or just mine? I've never inspired this much passion in anyone (at least, not that I've known about), and I'm trying not to let it weird me out and take it as a compliment (which I'm sure that it is). But it is totally odd to hear this deep(ish), moan-y kind of voice coming out of someone who's not even two.
I was just getting used to Westley's super-affection, in fact, when it stopped. Or, rather, it was rerouted. Recently, I have been replaced by someone else. Someone younger, thinner, and famous, in fact. And a redhead.
Red all over, actually.
Yes, that's right: my son has discovered Elmo. After just a few Sesame Street viewings, Westley decided that Elmo was it. ("Forty years in children's television. They know what they're doing," was Rob's explanation for the speed of Westley's conversion.) He loves Big Bird, whom he calls "Buh-buh," and Cookie Monster is probably his second-favorite ("Cook!"), but no one can match Elmo. Or "Mo-mo."
The little stuffed Elmo that now goes almost everywhere with Westley showed up completely by coincidence; a neighbor brought him by, post-garage sale, when my mom had just been saying that morning, "We should get him an Elmo doll." Not wanting to introduce any more stuffed creatures into the already substantial menagerie, I had said, "Well, if he sees one he likes..."
So because I wouldn't do it, the universe brought Westley an Elmo doll. And as karmic repayment for having resisted my son's Elmo love, Westley's passion has moved on. It's no longer "Mmaaahhh-muh" and enormous kisses on the lips.
Now, it's "Mmohhh-mo."