Everybody Knows My Name

mom signature

My 4yo son and I have a routine at the grocery store checkout. If he stays in the cart, he gets to help me with the debit/credit card machine. I instruct him: “Press the green button,” “Press no,” etc. He loves to fool with the stylus and repeatedly change the language from English to Spanish to English and back again, but that’s a small price to pay for him staying in the cart.

I have always been in the habit of using my card as a debit, until recently when my husband reminded me that “UM. We spend $$$ every week on groceries. Those are airline miles, baby!” (such a practical man!) So…I’ve started using my debit as a credit card.

This has thrown a wrench into the grocery store checkout routine with my 4yo. There are fewer steps with credit, and the final one – signing my name – he can’t help with at all.

Except – the first time he watched me sign my name, my son shared a very sweet observation.

When I grabbed the stylus and he saw the new screen on the machine, Eli asked me what I was doing.

I told him, “I need to sign my name, honey.”

He said, “So, you’re going to sign it MOM?”

“No, sweetie, I can’t sign it MOM.”

“But you’re MOM!” he argued.

“Yes, I’m your mom, but I’m not their mom. I need to sign my name.”

“I think you should just sign MOM,” he said finally and as an end to the conversation.

Sometimes being MOM is a huge responsibility, and heaven knows I’ve been buckling under the weight of it a lot lately. But there was something very touching in the way Eli was convinced that me signing “MOM” would be enough, that it carried power and authority, was the end-all, be-all.

I think I need to borrow a little bit of Eli’s confidence in me, and his belief in the title I carry. Though…I think I’ll stick to signing my own name. 😉


  • This is so funny. We do the same thing. My six year old loves using my card too. She signs her own name all of the time and no one ever says a word. How strange is that?

    I might try signing MOM next time.  🙂