Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

a very short guy daughter says I need to come up with a name for myself. A grandmother name. It’s something women do, women like me, grandmothers, they decide on their own names. Names like Nana or Mamey.
–How about Mimi, that’s a good name.
–You can’t just make up a random name.
–I’m not making up a random name. If I was making up a random name, I’d say something like Josette. Have the baby call me Josette.
–That’s not the right kind of name.
I call him the baby, or baby.

I’ve been trying to teach him to say, “Eat,” instead of whining when he wants food. His mother wants, “Eat please,” but we have to start small. Eat, I say. Eeeet. He is in his high chair, eating quinoa, cheerios and blueberries. Eeee, I say, t.  I show him what my mouth does to make those sounds and he looks at me blankly.  I give up finally and turn away, but when I am half way across the room, he shouts, “Eat.”

I took him to OSU today. A warm spring day. He loved the skateboarders and the bicycles. He was thrilled by a sports poster. He loved walking over a metal grate that made noise when he stepped. Sometimes he held my hand, but often he wanted to walk alone, as if he was just some guy, walking along on the campus. Some very short guy.

Categories: aging, children, memoir

Tags: , , ,

6 replies

  1. He will make a name for you on his own. That seems to be the way of babies. My oldest daughter heard me call Martin’s mom SK and made it into KK. 42 years later all the grand-kids and great grand-kids call her by KK. I’m a Grammy.

  2. Yesterday, I asked Harrison if he threw any of his books in the dog’s water again? He was quiet. Then I asked him “we’re you bad today?” He immediately said “No!” Not bad for someone who can’t talk.

  3. This is such a sweet little passage about your grandson. You are a very lucky woman, Josette.

  4. Yes, it seems like it’s the job of the oldest grandchild to determine grandparents’ names for the rest of the crew. My older sister came up with MumMum and that’s what the rest of us called her.

  5. Make one up, or let Harrison make one up. Something will stick and then maybe it won’t. I was Lala for a number of years and then my brother just outgrew it as a nickname for me. Maybe you want to choose the name of a favorite book character? Some variation? I can’t wait to find out what you all decide.

  6. He will come up with his own. Trust “POP” on this one.

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