The life and times of Momma Jumbo

Victor loves to give nicknames, and they usually stick. He is “Bear,” his twin brother Oliver is “O-leach” or “The Bug,” my husband is “Lollipop,” and I (sadly enough) am “Momma Jumbo.”

I know. It’s a tough moniker to swallow. When he first heard it, my husband smartly stifled his laughter. “Shut up,” I snarled, “You’re ‘Lollipop.’”

After a few days of him yelling, “Momma Jumbo!” in the supermarket aisles and at the playground, I had to intervene.

I do not fit the traditional princess mold in appearance or attitude, so I understand why I didn’t get “Cinderella” or “Snow White” (even though I do have dark hair!). If he was stuck on a cartoon character, there was Jessie from Toy Story 2, or, heck, I’d even take Dory. My son just shook his head. “No,” he said, they were not right.

Fortunately my son does not know about my lifelong preoccupation with my weight and my crazy body image issues. He does not see the look on my face when I step on the scale or when I try on a pair of pants, desperately hoping that a size twelve will fit nor does he see the my look of utter devastation when I realize I will need a size fourteen.

He doesn’t know that even when I am at my thinnest, because I am so tall that I still feel large. He doesn’t know that I secretly long to be petite (like a Disney Princess), to be the type of woman who is easily swept up into the arms of a Prince Charming. I admit I have picked up a romance novel or two, wistfully gazing at the cover. When I semi-jokingly ask my husband to pick me up, I see the momentary look of panic on his face.

For all these reasons, unknown to my little boy, his nickname for me hits just a bit too close to home – not that I can think of any woman, regardless of her size, who really wants to be compared to an elephant, especially one called “Jumbo,” even if she is Dumbo’s mom.

I sigh and ask him again, “Why Momma Jumbo?”

He looks me straight in the eye and simply says, “Because Momma Jumbo loves her baby more than anything in the world, and that’s how you love me.”

I am speechless. Momma Jumbo it is.

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3 Responses to The life and times of Momma Jumbo

  1. Jen

    Sometimes we project and analyze and read so much into our life circumstances that it takes the simple perspective and love of a child to strip all the clutter away and help us see realty.
    Excellent post.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. …..or, “reality”, which would be better and is what I intended.
    But hey, if your boy is already into flipping properties…

  3. Frances Fox says:

    I read your book and felt it was an enormous DISSERVICE to many parents of preemies.

    Our daughter and son in law had a son at 26 weeks he is now 34weeks and 5 days. He is doing very well. I told them NOT to read your book as it was not informative, rather, your own catharsis relative to your own very hard experience. It was not informative at all in terms of what to expect when, which is how it is represented.

    I believe this should be retitled one woman’s journey through…..who also happens to be a doctor.
    Based upon and sold upon the fact you are a doctor is in and of itself a gross missrepresentation of your expertise in this subject matter. While I am truly sorry for the horrors and tragedies that struck your life – this is NOT a book for parents of healthy preemies, who will eperience the ups & downs. This is not a book that explains the machines, what they do & why; how to read them realistically.
    I can not say how disappointed I was/am about this. I am so glad my adult children (30′s) did NOT read this book.
    IF you are a parent of a very sick preemie who wants a “story” to relate to – then this book is for you. It is not written by a neonatologist, or better yet, the NICU nurses who daily care for our preemies, and are very intune with reality

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