I love being called Grandma Jacci.
But shortly after our grandbaby is born, her parents begin to conspire on what Evie will call me. Something that's not grandma. Evie’s other grandma is Yaya, so Matt and Paige think I need my own unique name too.
They ask me, “How about Memaw?”
Memaw? I'm offended. I don't care that Memaw is Betty White's character in The Big Bang Theory. I just picture Memaw as an unattractive woman in a muumuu sitting on a broken down porch fanning herself. No, not Memaw.
“Well, we could call you Mimie.”
I consider this. Mimie is too close to Mamie, the name of my Great Grandma Johnson’s roommate in the nursing home. Mamie was really just a lonely, old soul who was happy to see children. I tried to be polite when we'd come to visit Grandma, but as a five-year-old little kid, I was scared silly by Mamie. She’d reach for me, clutching my arm and giving me a snake bite if I tried to break free. I don't want to be Mimie.
I ask what's wrong with Grandma Jacci. I like being Grandma Jacci. Plus I think grandparents should have a say in what they want to be called.
My other daughter, Amber, weighs in. “Grandma is old school. Everyone picks a name now. It’s cute.”
Puff. To me, picking out a random name that doesn't have any significance takes all the fun out of it. It's one thing if the grandchild can't say "grandma" and comes up with her own sweet version. Or, if it’s a name that’s been used in the family before. That makes sense. Amber couldn’t say grandpa so she called my dad Pop Pop. Grandpa Dave will most likely be Pop Pop too.
I ask how Yaya got her name. When Matt's family was trying to get his nephew to say grandma, he kept saying “Yeah, yeah.” So she became Yaya. See? My point exactly.
Paige says she just doesn’t want me to have a boring name. Okay, I kind of get that. I tell Paige as long as Evie comes up with the name, I will go with it.
I know though that if Evie suddenly starts calling me Memaw, her parents will have been secretly coaching her. I decide I better find a my own grandma nickname.
I find The Ultimate Guide to Grandparent Names on grandparents.com. There are hundreds of names you can choose. They even list them in categories. Traditional, playful, trendy, celebrity, and international. You can be Nana, Oma, Birdie, Foxy, Tama, MuMu (go figure), Lovey, or Pittypat. Or, you can even choose to be called UdderMudder.
Good grief. This is just like picking out a name for your baby.
I give up on the list and think of a name my kids already call me. Mamacita. I google it. In the Urban Dictionary Mamacita means hottie. At 50+ not so much. But the literal meaning in Spanish is "little mama."
I think Mamacita means Grandma Jacci. We’ll see what Evie says.