Just Call Me Grandma

When I think about the world my kids are growing up in compared to the world I grew up in, there are some major differences.

I had to wait an entire week to see which oversized color-blocked sweater D.J. Tanner would wear on the next episode of Full House. Thanks to Netflix and our DVR my kids can watch as many episodes of as many shows as I’ll let them.

I walked to school every day. Now I wait for 30 minutes in a pickup line for my child, and have I mentioned that we live four blocks from the school?

But yesterday I realized another major difference between my childhood and my kids’: Grandma names.

My kids have an “Emmy” and a “Grammy.” I know a BeeBee. A GrandMary. Three Mimis. I know a Gran and a Gram, a Special K and a Meemer. I know of GGs and a Nuni, a Cookie and a Queenie.

I had two grandmothers, “Grandma” and “Grandma”. My husband has 2 grandmothers, also “Grandma” and “Grandma”, and a step-grandmother whom he calls “Grandma”.

I know, it’s all very Larry, Darrell and my other brother Darell (to mention another 80s tv show).

Maybe we lacked creativity. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the grandparents of today are living longer and don’t see themselves as “Grandmotherly.” I’m not sure.

But what I do know is this: I never would have gotten away with calling my grandmother “Cookie.”  I would have been sent to the naughty chair but quick.

Now I’m wondering what D.J. Tanner called her grandmother. Anyone know?

What do your children call their grandmothers?

I have a post at Incourage today. Check it out!



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  1. Mary Kate says:

    Longstanding tradition on both sides of my family of non-traditional names. My kids call my parents Hamma & Hampa and my ILs are Gramma & Grampa. I called my 4 g-parents Goo-Goo, Grandpa Mike, Grandma, and Poompa. My dad called his grandparents Nan, Beepa, Grandma Ella, and Herb. My mom called her grandparents Grandma, Grandpa, Babcia, & Dziadek.
    My husband only knew 1 living grandparent and called him Grampa. I’ve often wondered how much family tradition and culture played into these names.
    Great post, as always, ML!
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  2. Rachael says:

    My husband’s family are Grandma, Grandpa Jim, Granddad and his grandmother is Granny. My parents are Moogie and PopPop. My grandparents were Grammom & Grandpop and Mimi & Grandsondaddy. My parents grandparents were Gommy, Goppy, Gran, Daddy John. I always loved that if I said Gommy we knew we were talking about my mom’s grandmother and didn’t have to ask which one. My husband grew up calling both his grandmothers grandma and their last name to differentiate. That just always seemed so informal to me. My mother always wanted to be grandma but my sis in law had three kids already calling my husband’s mom grandma. When we came up with Moogie my mother loved it.
    Rachael recently posted..Clipping CouponsMy Profile

  3. Lily says:

    I loved your Incourage post today! I called my grandmothers “Granny” and my grandfather “Gramp.” My mom (debbie) is called “BeBe” and my dad is called “Papa” by our kids- They turn 50 this year and already have 10 grand kids! Grandma and Grandpa did seem too old for them… ;)
    Lily recently posted..MM: He Lost It!!!My Profile

  4. angela says:

    I call my grandmas Grandma Rose and Nan. Now, everyone calls my grandma Nan; she is just such a Nan :)

    My kids call their grandmas Grandma (my mom) and Grandma Sue (MIL). We told them they could be called whatever they wanted. My daughter was the first born grandchild on both sides, so nothing was in place already :) Believe it or not, there is drama tied to these names, but I try not to air (all of) my dirty laundry on the internet :)

  5. Kirsten says:

    We seem to have a plethora of grandparents, step grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents, and each one has a different name! My parents are the traditional grandma and grandpa. My husband’s mom is Meme (pronounced Meh-mey), and her husband is Pepe (Peh-pey). Husband’s dad is Poppy and his wife is Mammy. MY grandfather is Great Grandpa. My husband’s grandparents are Grammy and Mike and Grandma Barbara. And my husband’s great grandmother is GG (great-grandmother…makes sense). The grandparent names are crazy. They all want their own unique name, they’re all very culturally influenced (in this case, French Canadian, and I swear every kid here in Maine has a Meme), and it’s wackier if there are step-parents/grandparents!
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  6. Lydia says:

    My daughter calls my mom Grandma and her kids call me Grandma. My Grandson Zachary decided that to differentiate between me and my mother, he would call my mother Grandma the great, but in actuality, she is Grandma too.

  7. Kara says:

    Since we got a mention above, the other grandmother is Nonnie to my kids. I had a Pa Johnnie and a Nana, but also a standard Grandma and Grandpa. Ryan called the women on his mother’s side Granny, little Grandma (great-grandmother) and teeny tiny Grandma (great-great grandmother). That makes me laugh out loud every time for some reason.
    Kara recently posted..36.My Profile

    • ML@My3LittleBirds says:

      Ryan and I actually discussed all this yesterday morning at eppp. Too cute! Matt had a “Great-grandma in the trailer.” LOL!

  8. I called my maternal grandparents Mummum and Poppa and my paternal grandparents Nanny and Grandapa (note the extra syllable). I had one living great grandmother, and she was Nanna. Half of everybody besides me used the terms “Nanny” and “Nanna” interchangeably and didn’t get that they were different people.

    I find it extremely distrubing that my Mom is “Nanny” to my kids, since that slot is already occupied in my brain. (Though the woman who held the position is twenty years gone and probably willing to cede to the next generation.) My kids call my Dad Granddaddy. My husband’s Mom is Grandma B. His Dad is Papa Dave (and *whew* I’m so glad for the changed spelling from my Poppa or I’d have the Nanny-Nanny problem there, too) and Papa Dave’s wife just goes by her first name, Charlene.
    Jessie Powell recently posted..People who live in glass washersMy Profile

    • ML@My3LittleBirds says:

      Interesting point, Jessie. I’d never thought about the name slot being taken…but it obviously wasn’t an issue in my family since we called everyone the same thing!

  9. Barbara says:

    I called my grandma “mamang” and my grandpa “papang”. They have 17 grand children all in all.
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  10. Tricia says:

    My kids have a pops and mamaw on one side and a grandma and papa on the other.
    Tricia recently posted..Friday’s Random ThoughtsMy Profile

  11. Jessica says:

    When I grew up it was Grandma and Grandma. Now my kids have a Nana and Nona. I don’t know how they keep it straight but that’s what the grandma’s wanted.
    Jessica recently posted..Every Little Girl’s DreamMy Profile

  12. olivia34newton says:

    Now that I have my baby, She called my mom, Grandmama. Isn’t it cute? Actually my daughter is their first and for now only granddaughter. =)
    olivia34newton recently posted..1300 numbersMy Profile

  13. Ethel says:

    my son call me mama and his father papa but he calls my parents as mommy and daddy lol
    Ethel recently posted..Kill black mould the easy wayMy Profile

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