“Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother” #51

“Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother”


“Everyone’s got a special name for their Grandmother: Grandma, Nonna, Noni, the list goes on and on. Regardless of what you call her, if you’re lucky enough to have her, she is probably pretty awesome. Full of wisdom, recipes and life lessons. She probably let you get away with things your parents wouldn’t.” ~Quotezine Team


Mine was “Boo-dah” – Miley-Jordan called me this for the longest time…even longer because when her sister (Madison) was born nearly two years later, she started to call me that as well and it stuck! ❤



Then my oldest son’s daughter came along, ZoeyAnn, and she made up her mind to call us grandma so-and-so.  Therefore mine became, Grandma Christine and I love it! ❤


Lois Wyse

FYI:  Every now and then I’ll post my thoughts in blue

From the day they tell you the home pregnancy test was positive until the day they tell you the baby is here, you will be allowed to consider the single most complex naming problem you are permitted to solve:  what will the new baby call you?

Never mind that the new baby will not call you anything for quite a while.  Never mind that even when the baby does tal, the name will be garbled.  Still you have to decide what Baby will call you.

It is wise to remember immediately that you will not be asked what to name the baby…however I had the pleasure and honor of naming my first granddaughter! ❤  Instead the children might ask what you will name yourself for Baby.

You will remind the children that you did not have to rename yourself when they were born.  But your children are not listening.

My friend Marianne, my first grandmother contemporary, is called Nana.  In our family that name was taken; my mother is Nana, and one Nana is the family limit.

So faced with the choice of Grandmother or Grandma, I became Grandma.  And because I am one of those grandmas whose last name isn’t the same as the children’s, life was made simple by naming me Grandma Lois.  It does offer a kind of permanence that last names no longer do.

Firstborn Stephanie once shortened my name to Mama Lolo, which I like, but her mother (sensing a lack of respect, I guess) moved it back to Grandma Lois.

My grandson Max call me Mama because he call his mother Mimi — names he has established by taking the last syllable of Mommy and repeating it for his mom and the last syllable of Grandma and doubling that.

One woman who shuddered perceptibly at the very words grandma or grandmother has decided to be called Mom’s-mom.  Still another, a midwesterner, is known as Chicago Mommy.  An auburn-haired granny is differentiated from the children’s other grandmother by the title The Red Grandmother.

My friend Annelle was supposed to be called Grandmama by her English grandson, but his first words to her were “Amama”–now her family name.

My very favorite naming story is about Ed and Ethel, who were called the Jewish names “Zaide” and “Bubbie” by their grandson Josh.

When Josh went to nursery school, he talked continually about his zaide and bubbie.  He told of adventures with them, and when show and tell day came, he announced that he would bring in his bubbie and zaide.

When he walked in with Ed and Ethel, his nursery school teacher said, “Who are these people?”

“Bubbie and Zaide,” he said proudly.

“But….but,” she stammered, “I thought they were gerbils.”

FUNNY . . .

Elaine was seventeen when she married, eighteen when she mothered, and then her firstborn — either out of gratitude or spite — made her a grandmother at forty-three.  I was just 38 myself!

Loudly she wailed, “But I’m too young to be a–a–,” and then, realizing that the word she was about to say was not a word she cared to communicate to all the world, she whispered, “a grandmother.”

The fact that most of her friends were grandmothers did not help.  “You don’t understand,” she wailed to anyone who would listen, “I didn’t plan on being a grandmother.  You see, I planned to have these two adorable children, first a boy and then a girl.  I would dress them in cute little matching clothes and take them everywhere with me, and it would be picture-perfect.  I wanted itsy-bitsy children.  But look what my children did to me.  First, they deceived my be becoming roten teenageers, and then they got so old that they turned out to be older than I think I am, and now look what they’ve done!  GRANDCHILDREN.”

Elaine does not hear when anyone says that clocks do not stop, children grow older not younger, and that while motherhood may indeed require a woman who says “yes,” grandmotherhood does not.

“It’s not so bad,” her friends consoled her.  “Look, you can always take your granddaughter shopping.”

“I did, and that’s the worst part,” Elaine said glumly.

“Why?” asked her friend Dorothy.

“Because,” Elaine explained, “when I take Missy shopping, people pinch her cheek and coo over her.”

“Don’t you like that?” Dorothy asked.

“Of course,” Elaine said, “but the minute I try a little dress on Missy, the salesgirl rushes to say that Missy’s mother will love it.  So I always go on to explain that I’m the grandmother.  After that they say, ‘Funny, you don’t look like a grandmother.'”

“So what’s wrong with that?” Dorothy wondered.

“Don’t you understand?  They think it’s funny I don’t look like Missy’s grandmother.  But I think it’s funny they never guess that I just might be Missy’s mother.  Once, just once, let some nearsighted clerk selling me a dress for Missy say, “This will look lovely on your daughter.'”

Dorothy laughed.  “Oh, Elaine, don’t you understand why they know you’re the grandmother?  Who but a grandmother would walk right past all those little no-iron overalls and buy a handmade dress with six tiers of ruffles that takes a mother three hours to iron?”





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