There are so many terms for grandparents, and they vary from region to region. In many Asian families, different names are used for paternal and maternal grandparents, which can be confusing as cousins may call their grandparents different names depending upon which side of the family they are from.
Since both my parents are from Taiwan, I call my maternal grandparents po-po (grandmother) and gong-gong (grandfather) and my paternal grandparents ama (grandmother) and a-gong (grandfather). When Max was born we knew immediately that he would call my parents ama (grandmother) and a-gong (grandfather). I love hearing Max say a-gong and ama.
With Aaron’s parents the decision of what to be called was not as straightforward. Aaron calls his maternal grandparents Nanny and Grandpa Eldon and he called his paternal grandparents Grammy and Pops. While Aaron’s dad decided early on that he wanted to be called “Pops” like his dad, there was a time where other options were thrown around. My favorite was “mobo” for “motherboard” (Aaron clearly gets his geekiness from his dad!). Whether that was a serious contender or not is still up for debate (but secretly it had my vote!). Aaron’s mom had a harder time deciding but after a lot of brainstorming eventually decided on “Bebe”. Now I can’t imagine Max calling her anything else. The funniest part is that most days Max refers to Pops and Bebe as one entity “Pops Bebe”
Some days Aaron and I are envious of our friends with little kids who have their parents just down the road. Yes, mainly for the free babysitting, but also because it is so special seeing the bond form between your little one and your parents. Luckily, my parents are only a few hours away in North Carolina and Aaron’s parents make it a point to visit every couple weeks. When Aaron’s parents aren’t here, we do our best to Facetime as often as possible. Now when Max hears the Facetime ringtone his head pops up and he says “Pops Bebe”. The other day when we were Facetiming with Pops and Bebe, Max got a glimpse of a Thomas the tank engine scooter (Hanukkah gift) in the background. As soon as the call ended, Max took Aaron’s hand and led him to the door and said “Pops Bebe house”.
Seeing the connection and love that Max has for his grandparents is one of the most touching things I’ve experienced. I’m so thankful for their strong presence in his life and I can’t wait to spend the holidays visiting North Carolina and Chicago.
Here are a few of my favorite grandparent moments:
- My parents were watching Max one afternoon and when I got back my mom and I had the following conversation:
(me) Mom, does Max need a diaper change?
(ama) I asked him if he wanted his diaper changed and he said no, so I didn’t change it.
(me) Of course he said no! But you have to do it anyways. (haha)
Pops taught Max to turn on the light switch then point to the lights and say “boom”. Now Max still holds his arm up and says “boom” whenever lights come on.
Aaron’s parents usually rent a car when they visit. This means that Max associates a wide range of car types with Pops and Bebe. Since Pops let’s Max sit on his lap to drive down the street, Max is now in the habit of pointing to every black sedan and black suv and saying “Pops Bebe car”. If Max is on foot, he will even go up to the driver door and try to open it (we do our best to stop him).
My childhood was filled with ice cream trips with my dad. Any excuse (e.g. stopping for gas, turning right, eating a chocolate covered bug (that’s where I drew the line) could justify a vanilla orea shiver from TCBY. That’s why it felt extra special the first time I went out to ice cream with my dad and Max.
Aaron’s mom has kept so many of Aaron’s toys and outfits. There is something so special about seeing Max play with Aaron’s cars or wearing a pair of overalls that Aaron used to wear.
What are some of your favorite grandparent moments? What do you call your grandparents?