A Grand Dilemma

You know that you have entered a new phase of life when you realize that you want to become a grandmother.

Five years ago, if you brought up the topic, I would have said that I wasn’t yet ready for grandchildren.  I thought of grandparents as being old, with wrinkled skin and gray hair.  Like my grandmother.  And my mother. 

But then my siblings-even the younger ones- began to have grandchildren.  My friends began to have grandchildren.  None of them look old with wrinkled skin. Okay, some of them have gray hair, but then so do I.  It’s just well-hidden by my hair colorist.  I saw them with their grandchildren and recognized the special bond they shared.

I began to notice that it’s been more than twenty-five years since I’ve had a baby to snuggle.  I began to miss the scent of baby breath and tufts of silky baby hair tickling me under my chin.  I missed the weight of an infant’s head resting on my shoulder and the way a newborn’s droll little face contorts when she pulls up her knees and stretches out her arms upon waking.  In short, I miss having a baby in the house.

I’ve heard some people say that they were happy when their children outgrew the infant stage so they mompainting_G could do things with them.  While I loved having older children, I also cherished the years my kids were babies.  Crazy as it sounds, I especially loved getting up with a hungry baby during the night.  I would quietly pad to the living room so we wouldn’t wake the rest of the household, wrap a blanket around the two of us, and settle in a rocking easy chair to nurse.  It was peaceful and quiet- time for my baby and me to stare into each other’s eyes, stroke each other’s cheeks, and feel the warmth of each other’s bodies sway back and forth with the rocker.  More often than not, the baby would stop feeding long before I could bring myself to put him down and go back to bed. 

Too quickly those days faded into the past and I moved on to basketball games, band concerts, and waving goodbye at airports, and one day my little ones were all grown.   I adjusted to life without children- eating at odd hours, leaving scissors on low tables, sleeping through the night without opening my eyes to find a three-year-old staring me awake.  Indeed, it is easier.  No running out late at night to buy Pedialyte and popsicles for sick tummies.  No wrestling to assemble toys at 2AM on Christmas morning.  No snowsuits and mittens and boots and “now-I-have-to-go-to-the-bathroom!”  I can come and go as I please.  I do not need to plan meals, or trips to the store, or shuttles to practice.

But then there is the empty arms thing and my friends and siblings with their toothless grandchildren bouncing on their knees.  And I know it’s time to once again have a baby in the house.  So when my daughter Abby and her husband Johnny not-so-casually announced that in June the two of them will become three, my heart leapt with joy.  We refer to the unborn child as “the little cub” and I can’t stop hoping he or she has red hair. john and abby pregnant

There is one dilemma, however.  What shall I be called by this precious little bundle?  It is complicated.  Johnny’s father’s name is Gary.  You cannot have a grandmother named Garrie and a grandfather on the other side called Gary.  The poor little cub will be too confused.  “Nana?”  No- it doesn’t suit me.  “Grammie?”  That’s reserved for Johnny’s mother.  “Granny?”  Not while I have breath in my body.  I thought of a long, trilled “Grrrrrrrrrrrandmama” but that’s just plain ridiculous.

And so, I extend an invitation to my readers to weigh in.  What shall the little cub call his or her grandmother-on-her-mother’s-side?  I await your suggestions.

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12 Comments

  1. abby

     /  December 24, 2013

    i still vote for ‘mimi’

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  2. Sue blossom

     /  December 24, 2013

    When asked what I wanted to be called, my response was “Nana but really whatever the baby (turned ou to be babies) came up with”. Nana turned into Nanny and I love the name.

    Congratulations Garrie. 2014 will be a very special year for you indeed!

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  3. A Gramie and loving it...

     /  December 24, 2013

    Let the little cub decide… how ever it comes out will be what it is… remember Gagie, Bapie.. all had LOVE in the name… God has a way of taking care of theses things… wait and see:)

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  4. Missy

     /  December 24, 2013

    You do have to choose something to start with so that the little cub has some direction to go in. I’m with Abby. I like Mimi. That’s what my kid’s called their dad’s mom. It has a nice ring to it. I’m Mema myself. Just right for me. Nobody else I know was called Mema so it’s a name all to myself. Think about it Gar. It’ll come to you. Whatever it is, it’ll feel just right.
    Merry Christmas big sister! I love you!

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  5. Candi Phaneuf

     /  December 26, 2013

    My mother wanted to be “nana” simply because her nana was so unbelievably important to her.

    My husband’s mother is Mem, short for memere!

    Good luck!! And congrats!

    On Dec 24, 2013, at 12:29 PM, A Cup of Tea with Momma G wrote:

    WordPress.com Garrie Madison Stoutimore posted: “You know that you have entered a new phase of life when you realize that you want to become a grandmother. Five years ago, if you brought up the topic, I would have said that I wasnt yet ready for grandchildren. I thought of grandparents as being old”

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    • Garrie Madison Stoutimore

       /  December 26, 2013

      Thanks, Candi. I’m beginning to think the value of the name is directly linked to the closeness of the relationship.

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  6. Kate

     /  December 26, 2013

    Gee or Mimi

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