Last year my youngest son had a head cold. He kept following me around saying Mom, Mooom, in the whiny voice of a sick middle school boy, but it came out sounding like this, Bab, Baaab.
Somehow it stuck. The name, Baab, pronounced Bab. Rhymes with drab and flab.
Now all of the kids call me Baab, and sometimes even my husband lets it slip.
I have become Baab.
It’s a process I didn’t fully embrace until looking up its meaning in the ever-reliable Urban Dictionary (not for the faint of heart, and possibly a very Baabish thing to do). I found it means Bad A$$ At Birth. That totally describes me, so I owned it.
Besides, I named each of them. It’s only fair they get a turn to name me.
Becoming Baab has meant embracing my aging self, as many Baabish things can be translated as old. It has also meant seeing myself as my children see me, as many Baabish things are annoying, funny, or embarrassing.
Becoming Baab has meant not taking myself too seriously and finding the humor in growing into a new season of life. It has reframed my experience of being teased and laughed AT to being teased and laughed WITH. There is a difference, and my children know how to walk that fine line.
I am learning to embrace their humorous selves.
I don’t want to say too much more, and thus hijack Riley’s column. It would be Baabish to go behind and overexplain. You will get a clearer picture of Baab as time goes on.
Mostly I wanted my readers to know that I am Baab, and I approved this new column.