What’s in a name?

What do you call your grandparents?  What do you call your parents for that matter.  I know growing up I didn’t get into the ‘mommy’ or ‘daddy’.  For as long as I can remember I have called the woman who thrust me from her loins Mom, or Ma.  My Father?  I’ve always called him Dad or Pop. Grandparents is weird.  My Father was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee so his parents are Granny and Papaw.  This is something I’ve always taken for granted.  It wasn’t until my own children were born that the issue of what these names are, how important they are, and the way they apply.  Am I the only one who has had this issue?

My wife’s father has died.  We never had that issue.  Her mom, who has always been involved from the beginning is Grandma. Simply, right?  My Mother is where I get my Native American Blood.  She’s full blood Northern Paiute, and so my kids call her Huttsii (pronounced hoot-see).  It was a nice way to set apart the two grandmas.  It wasn’t until we had this conversation with my own father that the issue reared it’s head.  He insisted we call him ‘Papa’.  Megan’s father, an immigrant from the Ukraine, was called papa.  That wasn’t going to work, no matter how much he fought that.  I told him he was a douche for trying to push that.

Let me back up a second.  You may remember the previous post I had that was about how I grew up.  Well, as an adult, my relationship with him is pretty honest.  On my end I find it funny, but I’m sure he’s not too keen on it.  Especially when I call him a douche.  I digress.

My father’s involvement is remedial at best.  He talks to me.  He doesn’t really talk to anyone else.  He’s roughly 3000 miles away, but no cards, phone calls, emails, videos, whatever to anyone.  He chats with me sometimes, calls me on my birthday and Xmas.  So the whole conversation about what my kids would call him was kind of absurd. I said Papaw (since that’s what I call his dad) an he adamantly refused.  His then insisted my children call him ‘Grandfather.’  It was at that point that I began to talk to him in an english accent and explained to him why he was such a pretentious prick.  In the end, I told him that when he starts getting involved as a grandpa that I would allow him some say. Until that time, they’d call him pappy.  Fantastic.  He gave me one of these: 🙁

Pretty sophisticated.

All of this is me asking if anyone else has had this issue.  Do you struggle with what your kids will call your parents?  Do you parents contest this?  I know as a kid we had this war with my Mother’s adopted mother, so I assume it may be normal.  In the end, I say do what works. Parents will work through it. Besides, isn’t it about the children?  What about the children?  If you give them free reign they’ll come up with something better anyway.  So much so that I will sophisticatedly give you this: 🙂

The Lame Sauce

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