I overheard two women of a certain age the other day while heading into Macy’s.  They were destined for the baby department to shop for shower gifts.  One said to the other, “What do you want your grandchild to call you?”  Sadly, there our paths diverged, and I didn’t hear her answer.   

This morning’s newspaper contained an account of the funeral of Joe Biden’s mother in Wilmington, Delawre.  The article reported that she was called “Mom-Mom” by her family.

This didn’t surprise me.  The Pop-Pop and Mom-Mom equation is very common here on the East Coast, so much so that the names are printed on T-shirts, hats, mugs and sweatshirts.

In my own Midwestern childhood, these names were not used, by our family or anyone we knew.  My brothers and I had Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Grace, Grandpa John and Grandma Lorene.  

Most of my friends also used the Grandpa and Grandma construct, unless they were from the South, in which case they said Meemaw and Peepaw.

My friend Penny’s mother in law was named Gladys, and she requested the grandmother name of Gigi.  My own parents were Grandpa Bill and Grandma Carol to their grandchildren, and my mother in law did not even consider being called Nana, since that is what HER mother in law was called.  Instead, she is Grandma Wendy.

In some families, the children make up the names.  We know one set of grandparents who were dubbed Amah and Moredaddy by the first grandchild, to everyone’s delight.  Another friend called his grandfather Cocoapop, for reasons lost to the sands of time.  And the Scandinavian custom of Farfar and Mormor is charming (I’m too lazy to google that, so please correct me if I’m wrong).

Because I didn’t get to hear the asnwer from the Macy’s lady, I turn to you, dear readers, to satisfy my curiosity on this score.  What did you call your grandparents?  Is this a regional thing? And what do you want to be called when you’re a grandparent? 

Finally, if this is not a hypothetical situation, what is your grandparent name?

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