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.