Growing up with my grandparents we always called them “Mami Angelina/Teodora” or “Papi Jose/Merre.” I don’t remember why or how that happened. They were always “Mami/Papi” to us. Now that I have my own child, Michael is learning to speak. We live with my parents which is a great thing for us right now since I love watching Michael bond with my parents, his grandparents. He has learned a lot from just hearing us, adults, talk (it’s my little family, my parents, and two brothers as well in this house.) I think the confusing part about Michael’s learning to talk is the labeling of people. Since we live with my family, obviously I still call my parents “Ma’” “Pa’” and my brother’s by name—this means that Michael hears those words instead of, “Abuelita”, “Abuelito”, “Tio Danny”, and “Tio Luis” (soon to be God-father.) This meant that he would always call my mom “Ama/Mama” as well. Until yesterday.


My mom had been gone all day with her own mother shopping, who is visiting from Mexico. This meant that for the day, we had the house to ourselves and decided to just lounge around. After a good few hours of playing around, you could see he was missing something. My mom. Then it happened. He started calling out for her, “Abbi!” Yes, Abbee. This is the nickname we came up with when I was pregnant with my parent’s first grandchild. My mom hated “Abuela” since she felt it made her feel older, so Abbee it is (a nickname of sorts.) When my mom had come home I pointed out, “Who is that?!” Michael lit up and began saying, “Abb-ee!!” My mom about cried.


I loved it!


Michael and Abi