By Any Other Name

As my regular readers know, I recently became a grandmother.  I promised myself that I would not become one of those women who talked constantly about their new grandchild, pausing only long enough to thrust photos of the baby into the hands of everyone I met.  I absolutely wasn’t going to keep blathering on about my new grandson in my blog, because I’ve always tried to write about a variety of topics so my readers don’t get too bored.  I was going to exercise self-restraint and common sense as I stepped into this new role of mine and only mention the new addition to our family when he did something truly newsworthy, like winning a Nobel Prize or discovering a cure for cancer.

Yeah, right…..  I have always written about what happens to be on my mind at the time I’m creating a new blog post.  And these days, what is on my mind is my new grandson.  All my good intentions lasted for less than a day.

Which brings me (finally) to the point of this post.  Ever since news got around that I not only look old enough to be a grandmother but that I’ve actually become one, people have been asking me what I’m going to be called.  When I was a child, we all just called our grandmothers “grandma,”  but nowadays we get to choose how our grandchildren we refer to us.  I know people who have come decided to go by Mimi, Nana, Me-ma, etc.  Those are good names, but none of them sound quite right for me.   And as long as I get to pick a name, why not pick something that I’d really like to be called?

Maybe I could get my grandson to refer to me as the “Wise One,” since age is supposed to bring wisdom and I’m not exactly young anymore.   Or, as long as I’m picking names that have no grounding in reality, I could be called “Goddess of Beauty and Youth.”  That has a nice ring to it, I think.   Or I could just go for the gold and have him call me “Wonder Woman.”  That sort of covers everything I aspire to.

Sadly, I have a feeling that by the time my grandson is old enough to pronounce any of the names I’d really like to be called, he’s also going to be old enough to roll his eyes while he’s saying them.  So I think I’ll just stick with tradition and go with “Grandma.”  It’s short, easy to remember and pronounce, and face it:  it’s what I am now.  But mostly it’s a title that I’m more than happy to claim.

96 thoughts on “By Any Other Name

  1. Oh Ann! I’m with you! “Grandma” by any other name, just isn’t the same to me! And I tried to tell you – didn’t I??!!! I’m sure many others too! You just have nooooo idea – there is just noooo word to describe… the pride, the joy, the excitement, the love, the……… we must come up with a word – that could possibly cover the way we feel about being a grandma! ❤ SOOO Happy for you! GUSH ON Grandma! ❤

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  2. “Grandma” sounds good to me. It’s funny how grandparent names can evolve, though. My stepmother is a frail old lady in a wheelchair at this point, but on a spiritual level she has always has been a power- packed, forceful person. She still is. So these days, though my kids are young adults, I combine two words when I refer to their grandmother: “granny” and “Rambo,” I call their grandmother “Grambo.”

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    • That’s true! I might not pick at all, he might just call me whatever he calls me. Our daughter referred to my husband as “D” for a long time, because she couldn’t pronounce Daddy. But as you say, whatever he calls me will be awesome!

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  3. Almost all the women who were grandmothers in my family were called different versions of ‘grandma’ and I’ve no idea who chose the names. I’ve not heard of the grandmother choosing. I’ve always assumed the mother or father says to the baby ‘look this is…’ and says whatever word comes to mind at at the time that they want the child to say. 🙂 But anyway – whatever the little one calls you, I’m sure you’ll be a great grandma!

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  4. I had a “Gramma” but my cousins called their grandmother “Goggie”. My children called my mother “Cuckoo”. They were a little confused as it was my MIL who had the cuckoo clock… oh well, they call her grandma now.

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    • I kind of like “Cuckoo!” It’s cute! I had a good friend growing up who called her grandmother “Amer,” but I have no idea where that came from. Amazingly, it stuck and they kept calling her that!

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    • That’s a good point. Perhaps wisdom is learning to be careful, and also discerning. The older we get, the more we do look at things differently, but that may or may not be wisdom. Thanks for the comment!

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  5. Love this blog Grandma! I’m totally fine with just Grandma. Kids do seem at times to say what they can when they are little and then later when they are older they sometimes come up with new things! One of mine called me G Ma for awhile. I just answer to whatever they come up with. Am so glad you are enjoying this new chapter!

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  6. I agree entirely with your sentiments on using the proper name when grandchildren refer to us. In your case grandma sounds good even with slight variations of that dear name. My grandchildren call me Opa, a name, which has its origin in the German language. I hear that is quite common for children to use first names when they address their parents. I find it horrible to unlink at least linguistically family ties in that manner. As I always I tremendously enjoyed reading your post, Ann.

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    • Thanks, Peter! I think it makes sense to have the name mean something real about the relationship we have with our family. Of course we don’t all have to pick the same ones, but I admit I really wouldn’t care for my grandson to simply call me Ann!

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  7. My 6 year old grandson calls me “grandpa”. My 4 year old grand daughter calls me “Pop pops”. My one year old grandson won’t even talk to me. I don’t know what his problem is. Great post and good luck on being a grandparent. As a grandpa I can tell you that there is nothing better than a child you can return at the end of the day. -Robert

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  8. In Denmark grandparents are named for the parent they “belong” to:
    Mormor = mother’s mother
    Morfar= mother’s father
    Farmor = father’s mother
    Farfar = father’s father
    But if you get to choose … maybe go with Yoda 🙂 When he’s old enough he’ll think that’s awesome.

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    • That sounds like a very good system to me! It beats having to say “Grandma Coleman” to differentiate from the other grandma. I wish that would catch on here. Meanwhile, I think your suggestion of “Yoda” is terrific!!!

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  9. The grandmothers in our family are all “Granny”, so I had two Grannies but a Grandaddy (or Grandad when I got older) and a Granda. I don’t know why the difference – i’ll need to ask my mum as she’s the only one left who might know. Whatever the name, you sound delighted with your role and i’m delighted for you.

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    • Yes, that would do nicely! I think his other grandmother is going with MeMa, so that leaves Grandma open. But I do like the sound of Gran Ann, or even simply “Gran.” I’ll have to think about that one!

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  10. I think it’s so sweet that you failed your good intentions not to blog about your grandson, Ann! And I think Wonder Woman would just be awesome!! Because let’s face it – all grandmas are Wonder Women , at least mine was. 😊 And your right about grandma being Oma in German btw. As always it’s been a joy to read your post! Have a lovely rest of the week! 😊

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    • Yes, when I was young, it was just “Grandma Jones” and “Grandma Smith” so people knew who we were talking about. But I actually did think of Granny Coleman, with Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies in mind. I used to love that show!

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  11. Ann, it is hard to not get caught up in the beauty & excitement of becoming a grandparent. I could sit & watch my granddaughter all day long, her antics & her sheer joy in everything she does is contagious! Enjoy every moment!

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  12. I also have to resist posting daily about my grandson. With that said, “Grandma” is a great name for that special person. My favorite was Grandma Ann (Annabelle) when I was a kid, so there you go.
    Today, my wife is “Grandma”, Great Grandma is “GG” or “Gi-Gi” and the great-great grandmother is “Meme”. Although there’s a little bit of competition in the family, Grandma is still his favorite. I definitely am enjoying your new grandma posts!

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    • Thanks, Des! And you know, I loved my grandmother and never called her anything but Grandma. So maybe having my grandson call me that would be a way to honor her. Although, as you point out, he’ll have to call me mother something else and “great-grandmother” is a mouthful. GG is a good suggestion!

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  13. lol totally enjoy your new obsession, why not indulge yourself … they tell me it’s the best role you will ever have … my father said he would have missed the fatherhood bit if he knew that being a grandfather was so good! I was too polite that they go hand in hand ..

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    • Thanks! I think I will be enjoying being obsessed, at least for a little while. And I think Nanna and Poppa are great names…I have several friends who go by that as well. One of them says she was never called “ma” so why would she want to be “grandma!” It actually makes sense.

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  14. Congrats! But sometimes, even if you want, you still don’t get to chose. I had a grandma growing up who wanted us to call her Gammy Peg. We were little…It took her a while to realize we were pronouncing it Pig…and it never really went away because that’s how we grew up with it.

    My mom found out her name from her first grandson (my nephew) when he one day turned to her at the dinner table and said, “Meca, can I…” We all looked at him. He was confused, and we asked what he called her. He said Meca and we asked why. He was so young that the only answer he had was that was what he called her. It stuck. Fifteen years later she’s still called Meca in the family as a grandma. Truth is, kids pick names regardless. (And be careful of pronunciations of what you may want to be called!)

    I hope you get called what you wish!

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    • You’re right, no matter what I ask him to call me, I’m going to be stuck with whatever he comes up with. And I do need to take into consideration how kids pronounce things. (There goes “Goddess of Youth and Beauty!”). I remember when my daughter first started preschool, and the teacher’s name was Amy Faulkenberry. She wanted to be called “Miss Faulkenberry.” But after the way my daughter insisted on pronouncing it, she finally allowed her to call her “Miss Amy.” You can just imagine what my daughter did to Faulkenberry…….

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  15. i draw the line at “Granny,” or “Gramps.” the first reminds me of The Beverly Hillbillies. The second reminds me of what happens to “old people” who eat too many peas, beans, cheese, peanut butter… beer and other natural enemas… and any mixtures containing one or more of the others. sounds too much like cramps Grandpa. No one calls me Gramps. 🙂

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    • You have a point about the Gramps! I don’t think I’d like that name either, for exactly the same reasons. But you know, I actually did consider Granny Coleman for just a little while, mostly as a joke. And yes, I was thinking about the Beverly Hillbillies when I did! LOL!

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  16. I’m horrible with calling my mom mom around my kids so for a while, my 2 year old called her “mom” and I was “mommy” (or mommymommymommymommymommommom…. depending)
    My oldest has problems with speech and I tried to teach her to call my mom “mom-mom” it never really caught on and now she’s grandma to both.
    My husband’s mom is ma-maw. I guess a lot of that is what type of area you’re from as well.
    I agree with at least one other, I like “wise one,” it has a ring to it… lol

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    • Yes, I think we get called whatever our grandchildren choose to call us! But I was just thinking, “If” we get to choose our names, why settle for something like “Nana?” Why not go for something really ego-boosting? Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be called any of my choices! Ha!

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  17. Ohhhh, it has been so very hard not to gush about my new grandson on my blog! I’ve succeeded but I think only due to lack of time, recently, to actually post many blogs. 🙂 When I was growing up we used to only call our grandparents “Grandmama” or “Granddaddy”. We would put their surname behind the grandparent when we wanted to differentiate which grandparent we spoke of at the time. I did choose a name, but I honestly don’t care if my grandson calls me by the name or just says, “Grandmama”. When I was pregnant with my firstborn, my neighbor’s two year old son could not say the word “Susan”. He called me “Sunu”. Pronounced like “Sue-new”. Eventually, we moved away, and the neighbor and I lost touch with one another for many years. Getting back in touch after this little toddler had become a young man. I found I missed being called “Sunu”, thus that is the name I chose. Enjoy your grandson.

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    • Sorry, I just saw this comment! I can certainly understand how hard it is not to gush about your new grandson, as I’m still struggling with that one myself. And I completely agree that whatever they choose to call us is going to be just fine. Thanks for your comment!

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  18. My absolute favorite story on this topic was when a friend of mine had a baby. Her parents were completely down-to-earth, but for some reason her father wanted to be called Grand Sir. For real. And you know what his grandson called him? Bop!! hahahaha I loved that.
    I wonder what your grandson will call you?

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  19. I have always been a little surprised by the grandparent picking what the child calls him/her. I always thought it started out as “grandma” and then rolled into whatever the child actually could pronounce. And by “grandma” I mean whatever version the family or culture used. But . . . what do I know. I personally don’t think you should hold back in posting about your grandson. It is your blog and those of us that want to hear about him will read it and those that don’t have many other blogs they can read. Post away, Grandma!

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