Well, it looks like Gwyneth Paltrow may have something in common with the average American mother after all. Her mother is not so crazy with the whole "my kid made me a grandmother thing" because it makes her feel old. So old that Blythe Danner actually suggested little Apple Martin call her "Woof."
Woof? That's the best she could come up with? You could try calling me Woof, but you'd be in the doghouse for a dog's age, that's for sure. In fact, Danner's pick may actually be WORSE than the doozy my mother-in-law pulled out of her ahem, butt, when my daughter was born. But there it is -- something Gwynnie and I have in common. And according to my friend, a maternity ward nurse who just witnessed an all out family fight over what one HOURS OLD kid was going to call his father's mother, this "not grandma" fight is de rigueur these days.
The same woman who will throw herself between a bus and your baby isn't exactly thrilled when said babe is a 6-year-old who comes screaming off the school bus and throws herself into "Grandma's" arms. She's more like Goldie Hawn, a hawtie at 65, who prefers Glam-ma to the real thing.
That? That was me rolling my eyes. It's not that I don't understand the need for something other than the standard. With two sets of grandparents, most kids I knew grewing up had different names for each side. My paternal grandparents were the standard "Grandma" and "Grandpa." On my mom's side it was "Mimi" and "Pop." My own kid calls my parents "Oma" and "Opa," in keeping with our German heritage. It's less confusing that way!
What I do find ridiculous is that grandparents think they can force a certain name into the lexicon, that their grandchild will just go along with their often ridiculous notions. Hello, Woof? Gwynnie says her kids aren't having it, and I don't blame them. Little kids realize how silly it sounds. Apple turns 6 today, she in particular "gets" that Woof is something a dog says, not a name!
But it would work -- if the kids liked it. That's what matters, much more than a grandmother's crazy request. The moniker a kid gives a grandparent should be something special between them. If a kid wants to call their grandma "Charlie" because it just makes them feel special, that should work. If the kid wants to go with "Grandma" because it's comfy, then for goodness sakes, appreciate that the kid cares! Buck up ladies, and gents, these kids are pretty darn cool -- who cares what they call you.
Do you deal with the same problem Gwyn has with your mom?
Image via Getty Images/Stephen Lovekin/Staff