The very first question everyone asks us when they learn we are going to be grandparents is,
“Have you chosen a name?”
Initially we responded that we were trying to graciously lay low and allow the parents to choose the name for the baby. But that’s not what people were referring to. People are curious if we’ve decided what the baby will be calling US.
This is a thing y’all.
I was hoping I could wait around to hear the first thing the baby calls me and see what sticks? But, apparently people think that’s leaving too much to chance. These days, grandparents choose their own monikers well in advance of the baby’s birth.
That means I have less than 6 months to choose something I can live with for the rest of my life. And also die with. I’m not trying to be morbid, but it recently occurred to me, I’m selecting the name that the majority of people attending my funeral will bury me with.
It might even go inside quotation marks on my tombstone right under my legal name. The pressure is on.
It was a cinch to select a name for my husband. His dad, who is no longer with us, was “Papa Joe,” so it was a short leap to “Papa Jim.” Easy-peasy.
But what about me?
A few of the more obvious choices are taken. Mimi and Grandma are our mothers, the Great-Grandmothers . They’re both alive and kickin’ – true forces of nature. I have no plans to fill their shoes, much less co-opt their names.
Nana is out too, as it has already been chosen by my grand-baby’s other grandmother. And also my husband’s grandmother, who at 102, plans to outlive us all.
With those classics spoken for, I’m forced to consider some of the outlying options bordering on the fringes of acceptability. Here are a few of the common categories:
Terms of Endearments:
Some people have converted “terms of endearment” into grandmother names, such as “Honey,” “Babe” and “Sugar.” I think those are all really cute. God knows I love my sweets. But if we’re being completely authentic here, I’m actually addicted to Splenda. Try that name on for size…
“Splenda was such a wonderful woman. She would’ve done anything for us!”
As splendid as it sounds, I’m going to have to pass.
As a redhead I have gone by many nicknames, mostly referring to my physical features. “Carrot Top” is just rude, but I guess “Ginger” is an option. At least it’s PR for the blog. Jimmy has always called me “Tiny Red,” so that is certainly a name I answer to. But I’m not sure I like how the two names sound together when I try it out in my mind.
My daughter saying to her baby:
“Go change for dinner, Papa Jim and Tiny Red are meeting us at the restaurant!”
It sounds too much like 1920s gangsters or maybe Rap Artists. I don’t want to scare the kid. Besides, trying to stay Tiny and Red all my life sounds like a lot of dieting and hair dye.
Names That Date You:
The weekend we told my mother about the baby, she had the audacity to high-5 me and call me, “Granny!” I’m pretty sure she was just kidding, but I instantly knew I could never abide a name that sounds too old or hillbillyish. That goes for “Maw-Maw” and “Mee-Maw. They are off the table, as well.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, a few friends have suggested “Glam-ma.” I guess that name is trending now in the world of rhinestone handbags and tee shirts, but I’m more of a Birkenstock, tie-dye, turquoise type. I don’t think I want to try that hard to be blingy.
So that leaves me entirely undecided. I guess it’s going to be up to some silly baby I’ve only just met, who barely knows me, to name me off the cuff…
Here lies Undecided
A Wonderful Woman Who Would’ve Done Anything For Her Grandkids
(Except pick a name for herself)
May She Rest In Peace