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…About What to Call the Grandparents

by The Momma on July 22, 2011

The Daddy: What’s In a Name? Can Any Grandparent Be Satisfied with the New Title?

The Momma: Well, based on OUR experience, it seems like there is often some resistance to the new “grand” status.

D: What’s the big deal? Just because you’re now officially one whole generation older, why is there stress as to what you’re called? I mean, if someone told me that I was now a grandparent, I’d be totally–
…OOOOOHHHHH wait, I see now.

M: I think that’s it. Our parents don’t “FEEL” old enough to be grandparents, so the name feels weird to them.

D: That’s totally fair. I’m sure it would wig me out too, even though the thought now sounds kinda fun. Ask me again in about 25 years, and I’m sure my tone will change.

M: Whatever you say Gramps. We both know you wouldn’t be satisfied with just plain old Grandfather, any more than our parents have.

D: I’m thinking of bringing the old stuff back. How about Pappy? How many Pappys you know nowadays? For that matter, how many people are saying “nowadays” in polite conversation. I’ve got an edge, I’ve got…moxie!

M: Whoa there, slow down fella. You’ll be getting yourself all in a tizzy.

D: I believe the teenagers call it “krunking”, but I can’t be sure. All I know is that when you see my cane a swingin’, the funk I’ll be a’ bringin’!

M: Ok, we’ve officially gotten sidetracked…Pappy

D: I believe that’s one of the first signs of getting older…
D: But seriously, I’ve been enjoying (secretly) the different ways our respective parents are all adapting to the new title modification. Something about it is rather…fascinating.

M: I agree. What I find interesting about it is that it’s one of the only times in life where YOU (and by you, I mean they) get to choose their names. So you can see each of their personalities not only in the names they picked, but also in how they GOT to those names.

D: Oh yeah, the differences where some react to what their parents wanted to be called, versus the insecurity about getting older versus the absolute disinterest in any kind of official new “name.” Very diverse in the reactions.

M: Of course, the litmus test? Whether the Noodle will ACTUALLY call any of them by their chosen name!

D: So far, it’s worked. It’ll be interesting to see what happens as he gets older. Though, now that I think on it, that early naming convention has quite a power. I think of some of my grandparents’ “pet names” and how they’re still hardwired to this day. Maybe there’s something to this naming thing after all.

M: Well, as long as they don’t want to be called Schmoopy or something like that, I’m ok with whatever names they choose. Let them be comfortable in their new grandparent skin and all. Plus, you know that the sooner the Noodle learns to say their chosen names, the sooner he can lock down the last puzzle piece of wrapping them around his finger.

D: That’s a good point. They’re giving him the secret power to allow him to bend them against their own will via cuteness. If they only knew!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

shasta July 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

My in-laws had their names picked out like six months before the grandkiddos were born (Mittens and her cousin are a week apart). FIL is “Pak” (don’t ask) and MIL is “Grancy” (Grandma+Nancy…my husband made it up). They seem to have embraced the names, though I’m not sure the kids get it.


TechyDad July 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

My parents had some requirements. They didn’t want to be called “Granny and Pappy” thanks to bad memories of my Granny and Pappy. So my father became Grandpa. My mother, however, didn’t like her Grandma so she refused to be called that. Instead we call her Bubbe. (It’s Yiddish/Hebrew.) My wife’s parents are called Nana and Papa as part of a family tradition. (My wife called her mother’s parents by those names.)


Lisa July 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

A friend of mine is aunt to a beautiful little girl. The grandparents wanted to be Nana and Grandfather. Well, Nana she took to without a problem, but Grandfather became… Nanadaddy. Everyone thought it was hilarious, which of course meant she just said it more. It stuck, for a long time, they were Nana and Nanadaddy.

My in-laws were already Meema and Pappy, so their names are already decided. Hell, I call them that. We went with Grandma and Grandpa for my parents because all the clothes say ;)


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