Friday, August 6, 2021

Grandma??? No, no, no....okay, maybe Mimi? by Jenn McKinlay

Jenn McKinlay: When I am late on my deadline, this is why...


They love me, really, they do! Meet Albert (left) and Mochi (right). Hooligan 2 brought them into my life and, of course, I adore them, am happy to kitten-sit them, play with them, spoil them, etc. In fact, it was all lovely and wonderful until H2 said, "Well, you are their grandma."

*Record Scratch*

Grandma? Excuse me? No, no, no, no...I am not ready for that! We haggled for awhile...

Him: Grammy?
Me: No.
Him: Granny?
Me: No.
Him: Meemaw?
Me: Stop.

We finally agreed I could be called "Mimi". I can live with that, plus kittens almost sound like they're saying "Mimi" when they squeak but "grandma" (dear lord) not so much.
In my family both of my grandmothers were "Grammy" with their last name to differentiate. My mom is called "Wowa" and my mother-in-law "Grammy". Both my grandfathers passed early so I have no idea what they were called and my dad was always "Pop-pop" or "Pop" while my father-in-law is Papo. 
I can guarantee none of them knew what they'd be called until the day came that the first grandchild opened their face hole and began to speak. I'm planning bribes for the first born grand already so I don't get stuck with a clunker of a name in my golden years.


Yes, yes, just give them whatever they want. LOL.

 So, how about it, Reds and Readers, what did you call your grandparents and if you're a grandparent, what are you called?



90 comments:

  1. I called my father's mother "Grandmother," and my mother's mother (who died when I was 3) "Grandma." I have one small granddaughter, who calls me "Grandma" usually, but also adds her own twist at times, "my little Grammy," and "Gramina," being among her endearments.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I called my grandmother “Gram” . . . .

    My oldest daughter’s children call me “Grammie;” the younger daughter’s children call me “Nana.” Either is fine with me [as long as I get a hug] . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  3. Both of my wonderful granothers were Grandma with their first names. The one grandfather I knew was Poppi. My dad was Popi to his grandchildren and Irwin's dad and mom were Granny and Papa. I am Grammma and Irwin is Papa to our grandchildren.

    ReplyDelete
  4. For some reason my children have always called me "Mom-oh" So my grandkids slipped into calling me Gromm-oh. The only grandparent I knew was my mother's mother, and she was a boring Grandma. Those kittens are adorable.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG they are too cute Jenn! What does King George think? T-bone would pound them to little cat bits...

    our grandchildren call us grammy and grampy, which sounded more lively to us than the staid grandma and grandpa that was in our family...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it! King George has been kept apart, for now, for exactly that reason.

      Delete
  6. Mimi's a good one, Jenn!

    We had Mama Dot and Poppa Nitter (his name was Allan but somehow that was an old school name of his) and Mama Ruth and Poppa Dick. I was delighted to hear my son's Puerto Rican girlfriend tell me last week that she calls her grandmothers Mama plus name. My mom was Grandma Mac (instead of Maxwell) to my sister's first child, so she was to my sons, too.

    I'm still waiting for grandkids from my older son and his wife (although she told me last week she got set up with a new doc who works with a midwife...). Fingers crossed, and with any luck I might get a couple half-Riqueno babies, too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My grandparents were Grandma and Grandpa.

    I'm not a grandparent myself (kind of impossible since I'm not a parent either).

    However, about 2 or 3 weeks ago, my brother posted on Facebook that he was going to become a grandfather. I don't know what he'll be called but I couldn't resist messaging him and saying that I was going to start calling him "Pappy". He was suitably horrified by my joke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't count yourself out yet, Jay. I don't have any children, but I have six grand children and two great-grandchildren, thanks to my step-daughter. Of course, you do have to have a spouse with prior children to go that route.

      Delete
    2. Jenn, my brother's response was "I WILL NOT BE CALLED PAPPY!"

      Gigi, that sounds like entirely too much work for me. When I say I don't have any grandkids or kids, it isn't like I WANT them. I'm single and will remain single until the day that last bacon cheeseburger kills me dead.

      Delete
  8. I called mine Grandma and Grandpa. I did have a great-grandmother for a brief period whom I called Granny Sarah.

    My grandchildren call me Grandmommie. This was started by my eldest son's first wife who came into the family with a 2-3 year old. It has stuck, and I love it. I would never have come up with it on my own tho. My son-in-law wants to be called Papa Dagger. I am discouraging it.

    My children called my parents Nana and Pipes -- guess who smoked a pipe. They called my inlaws Granny and Grandad.

    It seems there are as many variations as there are grandparents and their access to adult beverages.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My grandparents were Grandma and Grampy or Gramps. I am Grandma, sometimes with my first name but not so much now that the kids are older. For some reason, not cultural to our family anyway, my sister insisted her grandchildren called her Oma and her husband Opa. I think she just liked the sound of it.

    Reading some books about Norwegian immigrants I am trying to keep straight the terms they use. Father is Far, if I remember correctly and Mother is Mor. Grandparents are Farmor for father's mother and Mormor for mother's mother. Mother's father would be Morfar and father's father would be Farfar. Interesting I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My next door neighbors are German and I love hearing the boys call their dad “Popi”.

      Delete
    2. I love the precision of the Norwegian naming.

      Delete
  10. Aww, too cute!

    Both of my grandmothers were Grandma, differentiated by their last name. My father's dad was Papa. My maternal grandfather passed away when I was a baby, but I hear he was a formidable man, so I'm not sure what we would have called him.

    My nephew calls my dad Papa and my stepmother NeNe. His other grandparents are Gramie and Grampie. I think they wanted to be called something else, but AJ was quite insistent (in the way of small children).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We went with last names, too, Grammy Norris and Grammy Mckinlay which seems weird to me now.

      Delete
  11. Granny and Grandpa. Both sides. But we met my father’s first. So when we met my mother’s, they were “new” to us. Thereafter, Dad’s parents became Old Granny and Grandpa and Mum’s were New Granny and Grandpa. Totally logical to us kids, Okd Granny never appreciated it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor Old Granny - LOL - I can feel her chagrin.

      Delete
  12. Jenn, there's a cute "Life in the South" video about picking grandma names. Someone will post the link. I'm a brand new grandma and don't care what Jack calls me.

    My mother was "Mimi" which she enjoyed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEnw-TDuwn0

    Couldn't resist watching "It's a Southern Thing" video. Here's the link

    ReplyDelete
  14. I feel your pain! I have two children and six grandchildren. I never even drove a van! I'm known as Grammy and my DIL's mother is known as Gigi. Some people can pull off the GlamMa look. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was startled when people started calling their grandmothers Gigi. Previously I'd only been compared to poodles. I'm okay with it now, though, since a friend got me a t-shirt that says "Best Gigi Ever" on it.

      Delete
    2. I think Gigi may be easier for tiny ones than words with a hard G. My father in law was going to be Granddad, but as soon as our firstborn began talking, it became Zha-zha, which was all she could make of the word. He LOVED his special nickname, and carried it proudly for the rest of his life.

      Delete
    3. “Gigi”? Leslie Caron springs to mind! Not grandmotherly at all. Friends have children blessed with great grandfathers: “GGP” for both.

      Delete
  15. My mother's parents died before I was born, but her grandparents were very much a part of my life and I called them memere and pepere but referred to them as grand-pere and grand-mere. The reason being memere and pepere can be considered derogatory in French, but are terms commonly used by French Canadians. My father's parents were German. We called them Oma and Opa. My mother was called Nana which she hated and tried to get my niece to refer to her as "Chic" her nickname.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kait, having lived in German, I've always like Oma and Opa. Maybe I'll go with that when my kids have kids.

      "Mémé" and "pépé" are very common here in Maine, with our large French Canadian immigrant population. I had no idea the longer versions were considered rude in French! Probably not surprising though, when you think about how many phrases in English are off-color on one side of the pond but not the other.

      Delete
    2. I love Oma and Opa - very festive!

      Delete
  16. Your kids are funny/not funny, Jenn! LOL

    We called both sets of grandparents Grandma and Grandpa. My great grandmother, because she was a tiny, petite, and rather elegant woman, was Little Grandma. (Under 100 pounds, always dressed beautifully, with short, white marcelled hair).

    I am Grandma, but my husband was named Pop-Pop by Zak as soon as he could speak, thanks to Steve's habit of always popping his cheek whenever he was around the kid.

    My mom was always Grandma, too, until I decided she should be called Granny Smith, since that's her last name. She loves it, and it stuck.

    ReplyDelete
  17. SOOOOOO CUUUUTEEEE! I am Grammy, and I love it. It's so touching that Eli and Josh purely think of me as Grammy. Not "Hank who is our grandmother," but that's who I am to them, that role, and that name.
    Huh. Eli is now off to college, and I wonder if we might have to evolve to Gram. Grammy sounds funny from an 18-year-old. Though he's never mentioned it. This is definitely food for thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Hooligans are 19 and 20 now and still call my MIL Grammy. FWIW.

      Delete
    2. Hank, I offered my eldest grandson, who will be thirty in a couple of months, the option of calling me something besides "Grandmommie." He was appalled. So was his wife. I suspect grandparents are never allowed to change their names.

      Delete
    3. I was 25 when my Grammy died…would never have called her anything but Grammy.

      Delete
  18. The kittens are adorable, as kittens nearly always are. Enjoy them while they're babies. Once they start climbing your leg to attach themselves to your belt loops, some of the glamor fades.

    I called my grandparents Grandma and Grandpa and their first names, except for my father's mother, who was always Grandma Sherrell--possibly because Grandma Ethel just sounded awkward. Grandma Sherrell expressly forbid us to ever call her "granny." I think that tied back to the folklore of the hillbilly culture she grew up in. "Granny" had strong connotations of "hedge witch" back in the hills, and Grandma Sherrell was a Good Christian Woman.

    Naturally when Warren's daughter began looking for something for her children to call me, to designate a difference between her children's actual blood-relative grandmothers and me, the step-grand, I told them to call me Granny Gigi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend Patty is Gigi to her stepgrandkids. It stands for something, but I can't remember what the two G's were meant to mean.

      Delete
    2. I’ve also heard Gigi a lot for great-grandmother, but I think it has slipped down a generation because it sounds so nice.

      Delete
    3. Gigi is actually my legal first name, but the custom of using it for grandmothers makes "Granny Gigi" sound kind of redundant.

      Delete
  19. We didn't have grandparents, but my niece and nephew call my mother, grandma.

    The kittens are so cute.

    ReplyDelete
  20. We have Mimi, Papaw, Mamaw, Bamps (short for Bampaw) and GoGo.

    How does King George like the kittens?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the one!!! I need to be GoGo - totally suits my personality!!!

      We kept the kittens and big G separated. As long as my lap is available to him when he wants it, he seems okay.

      Delete
  21. My New York grandparents were Grandma and Grandpa and my Alabama Grandparents were Popo and Mawmaw (sometimes Spencie by my cousins, who had another Mawmaw on their father's side.)

    My parents were Grammy and Grampy.

    I got my own grand-pet a few years ago and decided to go full-bore oldster with "Granny." Like letting my hair go silver at the end of my forties, it's all about defying our cultural idea that the words "old" and "woman" should never be in proximity. Besides, if I have grandkids in the next few years (fingers crossed,) I'll be in my early sixties. When MY grandmother was my age right now she had FIFTEEN grandchildren with another on the way! If anyone should have been using age-defying names, it was that generation, who became grandparents when they were 43. I figure, if you become a grandster at 63, who are you really fooling?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia, I'm about to be 69 and still waiting!

      Delete
    2. I likely (please God) won't be a grandma for another decade when I'm in my sixties so, yeah, bring on the silver hair and cookie baking skills!

      Delete
  22. Grandma, Grandpa and Grandma to their faces. Grandma, Grandpa and 'do I have to talk to her? behind their backs. The Do I have to individual insisted on being caller "Mother last name. very old school person.
    As far as I know, I am called grandma C / or who the heck is she? I have not met my almost 5 yo daughter, and have not had much contact with Eliza.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry about that, Coralee, both on the granddaughter side and the Mother Lastname side. It's hard when families don't live up to our hopes and expectations.

      Delete
    2. Ouch! But I get it. Families are complicated.

      Delete
  23. Jenn,

    Like the British, we called our grandmother Nana. I think the British spell it Nan? Though that set of grandparents were not British, however my grandfather was stationed in England during the First World War. I remember calling my Grandfather "Grandpa David" and I remember saying that in Sign Language "Grandpa" "D-V"

    The kittens are adorable.

    Diana

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Jenn, the only grandparents I knew were called Grandma and Grandpa. My nieces and nephew called my mom Grandma New York and Grandpa and their other grandmother was called Grandmother. The mom is now called Grandmommy. My nieces are called Grandma and Nana. Lois

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm Nana, grandfather is "Bampy". First grandchild had a hard time with "g" so evolved into Bampy. Went to the beach with my daughter and the 4 & 2 yo A toddler yelled" Nana!" and 4 of us women "of a certain age" turned around!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! That's hilarious. Nanas on call. Bampy is great!

      Delete
  26. My grandparents were Grandma and Grandpa, followed by their last names. On my mom’s side of the family some of my cousins called our grandparents Nana and Pop. We always knew they REALLY meant Grandma and Grandpa!

    DebRo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny how the families use different names. I think we were fairly uniform with the cousins on both sides.

      Delete
  27. Oh my gosh, Jenn, they are so blinkin' cute!!! Are they littermates? If H2 moves out, you may have a custody battle on your hands.

    I only knew one grandparent, my maternal grandmother, and she was Nanny. I don't know who started that, maybe my brother who was the oldest of the grandchildren. I am Grammy to Wren, and Rick is Papa Rick. He can thank my son-in-law for that--it's very cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love Papa Rick! H2 is mostly out :( and off to college, headed for a pet friendly apartment. Sigh.

      Delete
  28. The kittens are adorable! I always called my mom’s parents Nany ( pronounced Nonni) and Poppa. My dad’s mom was Gran-Gran. No grandkids in our branch of the family now but my aunt is called Nan by her young grandchildren.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Nonni and Poppa - I'll have to put it on the short list!

      Delete
  29. Nothing cute or original. Mom's and Dad's parents were Grandma and Grandpa. And Frank and I answer to the same from our one and only granddaughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why fix what isn't broken? Those names work just fine.

      Delete
  30. OH! I finished reading Paris is Always a Good Idea earlier this week. Really enjoyed it! And now you're taking on her little sister's story. Cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! You're wonderful to be so kind!

      Delete
  31. I had two Grandmas and one Grandpa (the other passed away when I was 11 months old, so I never really knew him). That's what they were called. Although Grandpa would sign post cards when they were traveling Grmom and Grpop, so we started calling him Grpop. I thought my dad might want to be called Grpop (and this was his father-in-law who was Grpop) when he became a grandpa, but my parents are Grandma and Grandpa.

    ReplyDelete
  32. My husband and I discussed before the birth of our first grandchild what we wanted to be called. He chose "Papa Rick" and I chose "Nana". Our now 5 year old granddaughter has adapted them (as she should) into Papa and Nene (Nay-nay).
    Grandson (from other child of ours) will start with those and we will see where they go.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Grandma and grandpa, across the board! 😊

    ReplyDelete
  35. My grandmother I called Nanni. My kids called my Mom Gram and their other grandparents Grandma and Poppa. We are called Grandma and Grandpa.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm called "Doe". I was the last in the family to get a name, and I was starting to get a complex. He called Jocelyn the cat :AWKIN" but everyone knew who he was talking about. Doe was definitely his idea, and no one knows ehere it came from./

    ReplyDelete
  37. We’re Nana and Baba. My eldest daughter thought grandma and grandpa were too boring, so she re-named my parents Tug and Brownie for no discernible reason, as my mother was a blonde. My grandparents were Ganny and Gooley, thanks to my eldest cousin John.

    ReplyDelete