Friday March 1st, 2024 9:29AM

The Grand Brand

By Bill Maine Executive Vice President & General Manager

There are many challenges when starting a family. I never thought one of them would be selecting a name. I’m not sure that I had never given it much thought, if any at all, until we discovered we were going to be parents. What followed were many months of throwing names against the wall hoping something would stick that pleased us both. Not knowing the gender during both pregnancies made for double the work and three times the “discussions.”  However, I found out a similar naming discussion had been going on at the same time.

I admit that I am not always the most situationally aware individual. At the time I was more concerned with wrestling the baby pod into the car, figuring out exactly how a “Pack-n-Play” works and making sure I wouldn’t pass out while witnessing the birth of my daughter (I did not…pass out that is). That’s why I was blissfully unaware of the conversation among the grandparents as to what they wanted to be called by their grandchildren.

Having never provided anyone with a grandchild prior to this occasion, I didn’t even know this was a thing. I never knew my grandparents. I do know they called my father’s father Mr. Bob. And I think my father had a Grandma Mets.  Beyond that, I had no exposure to how to refer to such folk. I just figured they would be Grandma and Grandpa and then fill in the last name.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My mother-in-law choose the moniker “Grammy.” I like that because both of our children were born with a Grammy. It takes most folks many years to win one of those. It’s a shame her husband isn’t named Oscar. And if my parents were Tony and Emmy, wow!

But such is not the case. Instead, Kate’s mother and stepfather are Grammy and Papa. Her father and stepmother are called Grandpa Dess (now deceased) and Grandma Jackie. My mom was Grandma Betty. Alas, my father passed before he got the chance to play the name game.

I have done a little research and discovered quite a list of grandparent monikers. Of course, there’s Granny, Grandpa, Mee-Maw and Pop-Paw. Those are somewhat pedestrian compared with others on the list. For the ladies there was Bambi, which I would only recommend if that is actually your name. If your grandchild sees the Disney movie of the same name, they’ll think your mom was shot by a hunter. Not a good image, unless that happened, in which case you have my condolences. “Foxy” also made the list. That’s one sly grandma. Mu-Mu was there, too. But since it’s pronounced “moo moo”, I’m not so sure the connotations are very flattering.

They guys have some interesting choices as well. Big Bop caught my eye along with Pogo. Does that imply that gramps looks like a opossum from the Okefenokee?  Then there was Babaloo. What’s up with that? Were they big “I Love Lucy” fans? But the two that really stick with me are Mellowman and More Daddy. The first sounds like a character in a bad 60’s movie set in California. The second one sounds like a rapper who just missed making it big.

I know that often the child does the choosing by saying something cute or babbling something inane, but Mellowman and Foxy?

Grandchildren aren’t a consideration in our family in the near future. Perhaps someday.  But I’m not one to spend time pushing my children to have children of their own. Just because we gave them life doesn’t mean we have the right to tell them how to live it. I know people who have done this to their children but hated it when their folks did it to them. Not everyone loves being the victim of karma.

However, should my day come to choose the name that means “the man who buys us ice cream,” I think I’ll go with Han Solo and Kate can be Princess Leia minus the cinnamon bun hairdo.  It’s better than the guy whose grandkids think his real name is “Pull My Finger.”

  • Associated Tags: Maine's Meanderings, Mornings on Maine Street
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