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Real Life:: Grandparents in town!

My parents just came out for a nice visit.  The time always flies by no matter how long they stay.

Seeing her and my parents interact is always a treat for all of them. It always makes me think about my own grandparents.

In my family, we called our grandfathers’ “Poppy” because the first grandchild, my brother, couldn’t say Grandpa, but instead called my father’s father Poppy.  And we called my mother’s father “Poppy with Smokey”–Smokey being the name of his dog.  Once again, this was based on my brother John’s toddler mind insights. After all, dogs do tend to make impressions on kids.

My father chose to be called “Grandad” and all of the kids light up when they see him.  Grandma is my mother’s choice, although several of the kiddos have been known to call her possessively, “MY Grandma” much to her delight.

I don’t know what I’d like to be called should I be lucky enough to have grandchildren.  But a friend of my mother’s had the best grandmother name–“Madam”.  Her grandchildren would run up to her calling, “Madam, Madam!” It wasn’t because the grandmother insisted on such a formal name, but because as a mother she had so many daughters that the girls’ suitors would call their mother “Madam” as if the house were a brothel and the nickname stuck.

What names did you call your grandparents? What do your kiddos call your parents?

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Posted in Real Life : Dottie.

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13 Responses

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  1. Laura says

    Love this post and the pictures are fab! My daughter is only 20 months so her sophistication with names isn’t great. She calls both my husband’s parents “Grandpa” and my mother who she sees less often “Grandpa Puppy” — again with the dog! 🙂

    • Dottie says

      Ha! I love it–what is it with the dogs? My brothers’ wives are just amazed that we STILL refer to that grandfather as Poppy with Smokey. And also, I guess the dog was really mean too and tried to bite my brother. Eek!

  2. amy turn sharp says

    LOve this. Precious time there. Melts me. xo

  3. bethR says

    my mother moved with her mother from north dakota to texas as a teenager, so i rarely saw my cousins born to my mother’s older sister back in north dakota. my grandma died when i was four and it wasn’t until 7 years ago that i learned my cousins called her honey grandma.

    i also had great grandmothers mimi and bo (or, bozo, as i called her when i was very young… and watching bozo the clown a lot). my parents are nana and grandpa.

  4. jodi says

    awww! I love when grandparents come to visit! My parents chose to be called G-Ma and G-pa sort of as a joke, but then it stuck. My husband’s parents are Papa and Grandma. I think even if the grandparents were called “Hey you!” they’d still swoon over their grandkids. Such love, right?!

  5. Shannon says

    We are rather traditional….Grandma and Grandpa, and great-grandparents are Nana and Grandad. The best grandparent name I ever heard was a neighbor friend in my childhood who called her grandmother “Jewel” . It wasn’t her first name, but she called said granddaughter princess, which makes me think that the grandmother chose the name Jewel herself. 🙂

  6. Jenifer Morris says

    My daughter calls my parent’s Gran and Granda (we’re from Scotland so I guess that’s pretty typical) my mother in law is Grandma though. My cousin used to refer to her two grans (one of whom was also my gran) as big gran and little gran – the weird thing was, my gran was about twice the size of her other gran! I’m not really sure where it came from…

  7. Melinda says

    So sweet! Madam eff tee dubs, bee tee dubs. My grandmother Peg instructed us to call her just Grammy, not Grammy Peg, because we kept screwing up that middle vowel. We called our great-grandmas Nana, which might have been an Irish thing.

    My MIL really wanted Zel to call her something, but Z’s only consonant was M. So we chose Mimi. And she’s still Mimi. I’m still selling Grammy Juju for my mother, Judy–who Z called Grandmother Bear when she went through a Little Bear phase.

    • Dottie says

      I like Grammy Juju!

      Yeah–I would love to have a gaggle of girls just to get that nickname–except I would hate people to think that I was named after that damn chin enhanced puppet…

  8. mjb says

    My parents are Grammy and PopPop. My husband’s grandmother is Swedish, so she’s Farmor. My great-grandpa was Pop.

  9. Jody says

    What a lovely post. We called them by their last names–i.e., Grandma Dippolito and Grandma Handley. Which, in retrospect, seems more formal than Madam!

    My parents are Grammy and Pappy (and my grandmother is G.G.) and we haven’t come up with names for all of David’s parents yet (four of’em!). I’m lobbying for calling his stepdad “Rigby,” though. It’s his last name and I think it would be a swell grandpa name!

    And I think Mimi is an adorable grandma name. My niece’s other grandma is Kiki! I also support Juju.

  10. jungle dream pagoda says

    These pics are so sweet!!! I know what you mean about being lucky enough to be grandparents…I got a late start.
    I called one grandparent Gramma Tressy…her 1st name was Teresa…and I guess that’s what made it out of my mouth. My folks are Grandma and Grandpa…and the hubs folks are Grammy and Grampy!

  11. Eileen says

    I never met my grandfathers. But we were a traditional Irish family. Nana Burke lived in Ireland, so we didn’t see much of her. I was lucky enough to spend a week with her when I was 15 in the cottage my mom grew up in. She’d recently had a floor put in! Grandma Murphy lived around the block in Brooklyn, but we weren’t very close

    We called my next door neighbor (and “other” mom to my own mother) Nana. She had the biggest impact on me and my family. Not only did she have an above ground pool, but her husband, Dada-Bill, loved to barbeque… AND I was able to sneak sips of soda pop! My mom leaned on her during the divorce (single mom raising five kids under the age of seven in 1972) and we +all+ leaned on her during my mom’s battle with cancer. Nana also worked in the library at my catholic school. My teachers would send me to the library instead of the principal’s office whenever i didn’t do my homework… so basically I spent A LOT of time in the library. Rose scented lotion always reminds me of her!



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