As any parent knows, the task of picking out a name for a new family member is daunting. You want something unique without going overboard. Ideally, the name shouldn’t embarrass your child, cause ridicule, or require several rounds of pronunciation to get right. The fact that it needs to represent someone for the rest of his or her life adds to the weight of the decision. Yes, they can always change their name, but I’d rather spare my child the paperwork and time-consuming task of going through this later in life.
Which is why I’m thankful that Arthur and I have accumulated a collection of names for Roo over the years, even before we got married. There’s always the chance that he or she will come out and we’ll be suddenly inspired with a new name that perfectly suits our son or daughter, but it’s nice having names on hold. We’ve smartly been advised not to share the list, since not everyone will have the same affinity for the names as we do. It’s also hard to say you hate someone’s name after you meet them—especially when that someone is a brand-spanking new baby!
But baby names aren’t the only ones to be decided. What will we be called, or the baby’s grandparents? We’re personally partial to Mama and Papa, and have already been using those monikers with our dog (yeah, we’re those people). And my mother-in-law has lovingly been dubbed Gaga by our 2-year-old niece, which I adore.
My parents were still mulling over their options, which I find interesting, since I naturally assumed they’d go by Grandma and Grandpa. It sparked an interesting conversation one evening and led to a lot of fun looking up the terms on Google Translate in different languages. Looking to our roots for inspiration, we learned that the Swedish terms for grandmother and grandfather are “mormor” and “morfar”, respectively. Using the listen mode to get an idea of how to pronounce the different names added to the fun!
Ultimately, my mom decided on Nana. I’ve always loved this informal name for grandmother, and I look forward to incorporating it into our child’s regular lexicon. My dad—who’s technically my stepdad, and whom we all refer to as Pops—is leaning towards keeping his current nickname. Selfishly, I’m thinking, “But he’s my Pops!” As Pops often says, “I don’t care what you call me, as long as it’s not late for dinner.”
All joking aside, I know our baby is going to be loved by so many people (parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, friends) that it really doesn’t matter what they’re known as. What matters is that they’re a constant source of love for our little Roo.