- Family and Parenting
New Name for Grandparents
It seems that middle aged people are having just about as much trouble naming themselves as they did naming their own new babies when they were born.
For years, when your daughter or son had a new baby, you were automatically Grandma or Grandpa . Not any more! The baby boomers have trouble taking on these ancient sounding titles.
Some new grandparents want to be called by their real names. My grandchildren call me Grandma Ruth which I find quite endearing, and I still like the Grandma part.
I did think about it for a while before I officially became the third generation. I even called myself Granny, trying to get used to the term. Now that I have twelve little dear ones, I do not mind whatever they call me as long as they are respectful.
I get a chuckle at one cute little grandson who calls me Grandpa Ruth as he has a hard time saying Grandma.
Why do you think it is such a trend nowadays to find a different name than Grandma or Grandpa?
When I think of my own grandparents, I remember my mother's mother always having her hands busy with knitting. She made hundreds of beautifully knit blankets, sweaters, booties, bonnets and so many more. When she was not knitting, she was cooking, sewing or cleaning. She made the most delicious potato rolls, and although they never had much, she would stop whatever she was doing to feed you.
My other grandmother (my father's mother) baked yummy breads, made jams and jellies and could cook up the most delicious mutton (they raised sheep). She had chickens, and would let me go out to the coop to get the newly laid eggs. She let me enjoy myself in her pea patch and the rest of her wonderful garden. Grandma Anderson spent much of her time tatting (almost a lost art).
Both of my grandmothers spent hours sitting on their tush creating beautiful masterpieces with their hands. No gym, aerobics, just their hard labor cleaning and gardening. They both lived to be in their nineties.
Although these are not the typical middle aged people nowadays, I think the feelings between grandparents and grandchildren are pretty similar.
Could it be that we are more concerned with the way we look now, and we are hopeful we look more like their mother than their grandmother? Are we fooling ourselves. As for myself, I sometimes look in the mirror and see my mother looking back!
In the United States and Canada, Grandma and Grandpa are more common. whereas in Britain, New England, Ireland and Australia they use Nan, Nana, Nanna, Ninny or Nanny. I've also heard of Tutu, Mamaw, Grammy, Lala, Ma or Mum. Grandfathers are also called Grampy, Granddaddy, Grandpappy, Gigi , Pop, Papa, Oggy, and many more.
Of course, each language has their own names for grandparents. In Hawaii, where I live, the grandfather is either Tutu kane or Kupuna Kane, and grandmother is Tutu wahine or Kupuna wahine.
Often the first name that the baby calls their grandparents, while learning to speak, ends up being what they are known as from then on. The first grandchild usually is the one who sets the trend for the rest of the grandchildren.
Some really cute names for grandparents are Poppers, Poppie, Pepop, Pops, Popsie, Sasa, Sugar, Sweetie or Sweetums, and Grandpie.
Of course, when the children get older and want to introduce their grandparents to their friends, they usually fall back to the usual names of Grandma and Grandpa . So, these nicknames that are adopted are special terms of endearment. A special name between the children and their very special grandparents. More often step grandparents are called by their first names, unless they have grown up with the children close by.
It is not uncommon to have four generations still alive in a family, and in some families five generations are not unusual either, depending mostly on how young the parents are when they have children. Six is a rare thing, but not impossible.
I don't believe you have to be old and creeky to be called Grandpa or Grandma. I just feel lucky to still be alive and have the blessing to get to know and watch my grandchildren as they grow. I enjoy watching how my own children handle difficult situations as the children are now getting closer to their tweens.
Like someone said, a rose by any other name, is still a rose . I love being Grandma.