Tuesday, July 26, 2005

In which I write the post that should really have gone with the last title

The last post was getting so enormously long and unwieldy that I went ahead and posted it, which meant that I didn't get a chance to cover one of the most interesting points raised by the article. Namely: if your style of mothering was a Greek letter, which letter would it be?

Thought-provoking stuff. I rapidly rejected the idea of just going for 'Omega'. Too obvious, and I don't want to define myself solely by not being Isabel Kallman. I see that one blogger has gone for 'Zeta', which has a ring to it, but I wanted something with meaning.

At first, I thought I'd go for 'Pi', which came to mind because I'd just been doing the Geek Test. It's a number as well as a letter, it's geeky, it's got character. And if you just add an 'e', it becomes a tasty carbohydrate source.

Then I toyed with the idea of 'Sigma'. If my vague and scattered memories of Maths A-level are correct, this means 'sum of', which is fairly appropriate for my parenting philosophy - I believe that whatever effect your parenting has on your child will come from the overall sum of your parenting, rather than from the one day where you feel you really screwed up or that one thing you did that other people disapprove of. (Hence my scepticism about the claim that sleep training necessarily teaches your child that he's alone in a hostile world and Mummy won't come and get him when he cries; I can't help feeling that if, say, your child's experience of life is of loving attention during most of his waking hours and of fifteen minutes of crying in a cot, it's a bit of a stretch to think that he's going to base his conclusions about life solely on that fifteen minutes and not on the other 23 hours, 45 minutes of the day. What he'll probably learn is that Mummy will usually come and get him, but, now and again, in certain uncomfortable but non-life-threatening situations, he's going to have to deal with it himself. Which doesn't strike me as something likely to warp him for life.)

However, after due consideration, I now think I'll go for Delta. If I remember correctly (my geography was one heck of a lot worse than my maths), a delta is a large fertile area. That sounds pleasantly positive. It's also an airline, so it has associations with travel, broadening the horizons, and just generally getting away. And it has the advantage that if any mothers hate me or my child so much that they don't want their children to go near us, they can play recorded voices under their pillow during their sleep saying "Oh, no, I don't want to play with Delta children." (Hooray! For years I've wanted to find a way to use that quote in conversation. My work here is done.)

So, unless anyone has a better suggestion, Delta Mummy it is.


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