“What are you doing?” I asked Miss8. I like to give them a chance to concoct a dumb excuse before I rip a fart up them.
“I’m eating dinner while I’m playing on my laptop,” she answered matter-of-factly.
Not being blind, I knew that much. I reviewed what I’d said and realised my mistake.
“You aren’t allowed to eat dinner in the lounge room or while you’re on your laptop,” I said. “So why are you?
“It’s okay, Daddy,” my eight year old daughter assured me. “I’m an aunty now which means I’m an adult, so I’m allowed to.”
As of yesterday, our house is brimming with freshly made Aunties and an Uncle. Our eldest daughter has rather cleverly blessed this family with its first grandchild – a beautiful, healthy, to-be-much-loved baby boy, GrandsonO (name subject to change).
And while the kids have been running around the house for months calling each other Uncle and Auntie whoever, it’s been a bit more of a journey for Tracey and I to come up with our titles.
Over the years I’ve occasionally wondered about becoming a grandparent and almost always become fixated on what I’ll be called. Granddad, Grandpa or the more formal, Grandfather? Gramps? Pa, Poppy, Poppa? I’ve mentally tried them all on, so you’d think I’d have had it sorted early on, but I didn’t really know which way I was going until the little fellow arrived. And then it was suddenly so simple.
“I’m going to be a Pop,” I announced to my kids yesterday. Tracey says it’s because I’m an old fart, but the truth is I’m sort of honouring my Dad’s stepfather who, because both my grandfathers had passed before I got to be introduced properly, was my only male grandparent growing up. It feels like a nice salute to his taking on four unruly boys and shaping them into my Dad and my Uncles. Or maybe they started out fine and he made them unruly. Either way.
Tracey had a similar idea in keeping it sort of traditional.
“I’m a Grandma,” she said, “because that’s what both mine were called and I miss my Grandma Mac.”
I guess people can name themselves whatever they want for whatever reason, but these are ours: Grandma and Pop.
Funnily enough, earlier in the year when Miss21 phoned and told us she was pregnant I firstly mentally did the whole OMG I’M GOING TO BE A FRIGGIN’ GRANDPARENT! Am I old enough? Do I look old enough? Of course I don’t. No one will believe me!
Then, of all things, I started to worry about telling my parents. I’m 48, for Pete’s sake!! Plus I was thinking I hope they don’t get mad because she’s not married, followed very quickly by I hope they don’t want to get married because we sure can’t afford that this year.
I also chuckled a lot at the idea of having a 3 yr old who was about to become an Auntie.
“I suspect you’ll want me to help pick names,” I remember saying to Miss21. She declined. It didn’t stopped me.
That was all months ago. And now here we are with a beautiful baby boy added to our ranks. The only thing is we’re at day two now and they still haven’t made a decision on what to call him.
I’m blaming myself.
‘It’s because I recently threw Severus into the mix, isn’t it?’ I texted her last night.
Mishi, you clever, clever girl, you have done so well! You will rock this mothering caper. You have the most beautiful little man there and we can’t wait to meet him. You’re going to be a wonderful parent and never forget, despite the whole of Australia being between our two homes, you only need to ask. We’re only a phone call or even a plane trip away.
Seriously, I can nap at your place just as easily as ours.
For the minute, all that’s left to do this side of the country is explain to Miss8 she’s still a few years off full maturity, and its privileges, so she can get her Auntie-bum back into the dinning room – this may make the birth look easy.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”