So, TR shared this story from the WSJ:

The title?

A Grandma or Grandpa by Any Other Name Is Just as Old

Boomers Want to Pick What Grandkids Will Call Them: Meet Glamma and Papa Doc

Which is interesting, because I went to a baby shower this past weekend and was involved in a discussion with two lovely soon-to-be-grandmothers about what they wanted to be called.  Apparently, this is a very existential question, one which requires lots of thought and careful consideration of many factors.

  • Is it an “old-sounding” name, like Mawmaw or Granny?  Well, then, that’s out.  These ladies are barely 50!
  • Who else is called that — for example, Cici — and do I like that person?  Does my daughter/son like that person?  (In my case, I would totally not be opposed to my mom opting for Cici when the time comes… one of my favorite people is called Cici!)  If not, the name’s off the list, because the new mom does not want to be thinking about an obnoxious client when referring to her mother in the third person to her child.
  • Does it sound grandmotherly enough?  Some might argue that Dit, LovieRosie, and Pie are not grandmotherly enough, and I sure do know a real-live grandmother that goes with each of those names!
  • Is it too long?  The upcoming grandmothers in question felt a name like Grandmommie was too long (“a mouthful”, to be precise), and wanted a name that was accessible for their grandchildren.  I didn’t bother to mention that one of my grandmothers picked Grandmommie, and we’ve never called her anything else, except maybe Grandmother.
  • And finally, what am I going to do if I pick a name and that darling kid doesn’t call me by it anyway?  My own grandmother picked Grandmother, and what do we call her?  Mugga.

It seems these women want many things conveyed by this one word — their grandmotherly status; affection;  personality; individuality.  Think about it — Grandparenthood is the only time in our lives that we are allowed to choose a name for ourselves (other than Spanish class).  We don’t want to blow it with a MeeMaw or MawMaw.  But then, I think at the end of the day, each of these grandparents knows that if that sweet bundle of joy chokes out a feeble “Mumu,” connotations and all, they are going to coo at that baby, call it a genius and wordsmith, and be referred to as Mumu till the day they die.  So, really, it’s a futile argument, but a fun one…

PS — these impending WSJ article grandparents totally aren’t thinking about what the kid will actually THINK about the name.  Who wants to roll around preschool or even high school talking about their “Glamma” and feeling like an idiot, wondering, “Why, oh why, couldn’t my grandmother just pick Nanny??”  Typical Boomers.


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