Since I'm deleting my MySpace account (because myspace is lame, has too many really young people and I never use it) I decided to copy my one blog entry from there to this blog. I wrote it on November 27th 2007. It doesn't have anything to do with my shop Abigail's, so if you're not interested, just skip this one...
"Somewhere around the time my first baby was five months old, the word "motate" came into my life. One night, while we were enjoying an evening at home, Spencer, a little genius even at that age, began using his arms and legs to propel himself across the carpet. It wasn't exactly crawling, because his belly was on the ground, but he was certainly moving himself across the room. My proud husband exclaimed, "Look at that baby motate!" I looked at him, puzzled.
A few days later, my husband's family came to visit and were filled with pride and all commented on our child's motation skills. "Look at him motate!", they said. Bewildered, I called my mother. "Is "motate" a word?" I asked her. Always wise about such things she advised me, "No, but it describes what he is doing just perfectly" and we laughed.
My daughter who was born a few years later made my eyes twinkle when she began to motate at around six months of age. I used the word without embarassment or restraint and was seldom questioned. My sisters had children, and luckily, all of them started to motate at the appropriate age. The term was adopted whole-heartedly by my immediate family from California.
Over the years, I have occasionally heard the word used outside my family, mostly by folks from rural Idaho, like my (then) in-laws and husband.
Recently, I searched Merriam-Webster.com for a definition of "motate," I was bluntly informed "The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above." No, I didn't mean "mutate" or "mutter" or even "metate" (which is a stone with a concave upper surface used as the lower millstone for grinding grains and especially Indian corn). NOT EVEN CLOSE. And no, I didn't type it wrong.
Tonight, my heart pounded with joy as I watched Ella scoot across the Pergo in my kitchen. She doesn't quite have forward motation mastered, but she can sure motate backwards. When she reaches a wall or cupboard, we turn her around and she can backward motate across the room again.
Me: "Ella! You are such a good motator!"
Abby (usually jealous of her little sister): "I'm a good motator too!"
Me: "Yes, you are too Abby."
Abby (getting on the floor face down): "Wait, do you shut your eyes when you motate?"
Ella at the motation age.