Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Grandma By Any Other Name

Growing up, I called my Grandma "Grandma."

When my stepdaughter had children, I became "Grandma Kathy" by my request.

When Jessica got pregnant, her mother-in-law, step mother-in-law and I started talking about what we wanted River to call us. I wanted something different than Grandma Kathy. As it turns out, we all had different ideas.

So we became (left to right) Gigi, Mimi and Nanny.

My question is, is this regional? Or do  people all over the US use those names? I don't remember hearing anything but Grandma when I was young and living in Indiana. But I don't know if it was because of the time or the region. What do you think? What do your grandchildren call you or what do you call your Grandmother--and Grandfather?

Happy Gigi shirt

My stepdaughter Ashley and her children, Phoenix and Griffin


Emily said...

Whitney actually named the grandparents. My dad wanted to be Grandpa, but Whitney started calling him Poppa when she was 7 months old. It stuck. My mom was Grammy, but she died before Whitney started saying it. My mom-in-law became Gamma, which stuck for some years before becoming Grandma. My birthmom is Nana. My father-in-law is Big Poppa. All these were Whitney's names. My step-mom joined the family when Whitney was 2, and she was Grandma for a while, but when Jackson started talking, he called her Salty. Not sure why. So Salty she is.

Brittany said...

When I had my daughter, my parents were in their early 40's. I felt like "grandma" and "grandpa" sounded so old. My little sister was 7 at the time too so I did not want to use that. So my mom is Nanna and my Dad is Poppa. We love those names for my parents and it suits them.

schnitzelbank said...

Growing up was Gramma and Papa. Great-grandma was Oma. When Gramma became a great-grandmother, her name changed to Oma organically. That was my only set of g'parents. We don't have contact with our parents now, both sets are unsafe for my children, and it breaks my heart. Mental illness and addiction are a bad combo. My father is a child predator. He didn't abuse me, but my older sibling did. The whole family system condones this. Child abuse is a generational problem, and we broke the cycle by moving 3k miles away and No Contact.

Sorry, back to names, what does River's grandpa names sound like?
How did you settle on your names? Is everyone satisfied? Names are a huge part of identity!

Kathy Cassel said...

Emily--Salty?? Well, there are the Psalty tapes from when my kids were little. It's unique and kind of cool.

Kathy Cassel said...

Brittany- I was in my early 40s when Phoenix was born. That's why I added the Kathy to Grandma. I hadn't heard the other names used much before.

Kathy Cassel said...

S-- So sorry you had to go through that. Probably good you relocated. I thought Gigi sounded the coolest and the other two wanted to be called other things so that works. I'm having a little trouble getting used to it after being Grandma Kathy for 11 years. Rick is Papa Rick. I don't know about the others. Because of remarriages, River has three grandmothers and three grandfathers.

Christina said...

I grew up with no family so would not know. But congrats (a lot behind on my blog reading thanks to the neighbours who charged a bike battery in their unit and proceeded to cause an explosion/fire a month ago)
As for what my Grandbaby will call me I have had some ideas (6 days prior to the fire I got shocking news that I would be a Grandma after my 9th birthday so 36 year) but it is happening, I told my daughter even if I raise baby I will go with G-Ma for the first while. But who knows someone said I should be called Glam-ma because I am so young!

Felicia said...

We didn't grow up near any grandparents when I was a kid so they were all formal grandma and grandpa. My kids called my mom grammy and my dad nothing since they have only seen him a few times and were babies. Actually half my kids haven't met my dad and were surprised recently to learn that he was still alive! My grandbabies call me Mimi. Don't know where it came from, I have heard it and wanted to go by that.

Katie said...

i call my paternal grandparents nan & pop.
i called my maternal grandparents nanny eunice & papa woo. [his name isn't woo, don't worry! he just had two giant german shepherds who would bark whenever someone came by the gate - very protective - & 'woo' was the barking sound they would make. hence he got called papa woo :)]

i am about to become a grandmother at...wait for it...29! complicated story, but when we marry i will acquire four step-children, & seven step-grandchildren. but at 29 i think i'm just going to stick with katie ;)

One Crowded House said...

We called our grandparents Grammee and Grampee. (and then whatever their first names were.

Our kids call of their grandparents Grandma and Grandpa- but all of our brothers and sisters have their kids call their grandparents the fun names.

Kathy Cassel said...

Thank you for all your comments. It's interesting the differences in what we call grandparents.

Kathy Cassel said...

Katie--that's wild, a grandma at 29

Laurel said...

I live in the Pacific NW. I do not know anyone that calls their grandma's Mimi, Gigi, or Nanny. Must be a regional thing.

When I was growing up, I called my mom's parents by their first names. Seems totally weird to me as an adult, but everyone called them Cec & Sunny (their kids, their grandkids, everyone . . .). I called my dad's mom, Grandma (and Grandpa had died).

My kids called my dad "Grampa" and my husband's dad "Grand-dad". They called my mom, Grandma Jeanne and my husband's mom, Grandma Patty.

Now, our grandkids call us Nana and Papa (which is very common in this area).

Great question. I never really thought about the regional aspect of this topic.

kayder1996 said...

I'm in the midwest and I think Grandma and Grandpa are pretty much the main ones used around here. I grew up with Grandma and Grandpa ___________(insert last name) or Great Grandma/Great Grandpa___________ (insert last name). My great grandma on my dad's side was the exception and she was Granny to everyone. When my kids came home, we had my mom and dad who were Grandma and Grandpa. Derek's mom is deceased but was divorced from his dad who is remarried. So they became Grandma Sheila, Grandpa Dave, and Grandma Joann. Derek's grandparents became great grandma and great grandma ___________ (insert last name). My grandma, the kid's great grandma, became Grandma 2. Mostly because I thought it might be confusing for newly home kids to have two great grandmas.