Monday, January 30, 2012

Macie's Little Helper

Most people have a go to person when they have a question, need advice, or assistance. Staples has an “Easy Button” to assist customers in purchasing office supplies. Medical companies advertise “help” buttons for the elderly- particularly those that have fallen and can’t get up. When you are in the hospital and need a nurse you simply push a button, which is usually code for “I need more drugs- NOW”. If you are backed against the edge of a cliff by a supervillian seeking to steal your innate knowledge of nuclear energy you can call on Superman to save you (happens more often than you might think).  

At 18 months, I am Macie’s go to person, her guru, liason, mediator, helper, assistant, etc. When she needs help finding her cuddle puppy she calls for “maaam” to help her search. When Macie wants a diaper put on her baby doll she calls for “maaam” to do her bidding. After preparing a pretend batch of scrambled eggs in her play kitchen, Macie calls for “maaam” to sample her dish. If Macie’s sippy cup is out of reach on the kitchen table she reaches and calls for “maaam” to hand it to her. When she wants to go outside or downstairs Macie calls for “maaam” to open the necessary doors.

In addition to calling for me when she needs something, Macie also yells “maaam” in order to track me down. Like sonar, she calls my name until she determines my location. If I step into another room she yells “maaam” until I respond or she finds me. If she is with daddy at a store and I step away for a moment she yells “maaam” until I come back into sight. When Macie finds me she breaks into a monologue (complete with hand gestures, raised eyebrows, and wide eyes) explaining what she was doing and her purpose for seeking me out. At least, that’s my interpretation of what she says…Macie is difficult to understand when she goes into soapbox mode. It’s like listening to someone speak another language fluently. Even if you speak the language, native speakers talk so rapidly that you usually only understand a handful of key words- enough to get an idea of what was said, but not the whole story.

Lately Macie enjoys just yelling “maaam” randomly, with no clear purpose other than seeking a response. At these times we are often within close proximity of each other. Still, she yells “maaam” and looks me straight in the eye, expecting an immediate response. When I respond by asking “what?”, Macie excitedly grins and calls my name again. Once I realize that Macie is playing a game, I start responding by calling back “Macie”. This scenario continues until Macie is distracted by something else or I grow weary and stop responding.

As you can see, Macie definitely wears my name out. Although hearing “maaam” yelled all day long is annoying at times, I enjoy my position as Macie’s go to person. There may come a time when I will be the last person Macie goes to for advice, especially when she hits the teenage years. Therefore, I am going to relish the important role I play in Macie’s life while she still appreciates me J. I hope that Macie will always consider me an advisor and resource and come to me whenever she is in need….just maybe in a less obnoxious way.

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