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Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Baby Calls You What?

This blog is about a problem, so delightfull and happy a delema  I had to share. What is your grandparent name? I have a friend who was a very young mother (17) and a very young grandmother. She always felt she was too young, and too sexy for the role. She loved the grandchildren dearly, but just did not like the title that came with it ." Grandmother" evoked pictures of orthopedic shoes, and housecoats for her. Her solution, she had the grand kids call her Honey. The world was happy again.

I learned grandparents are called by a variety of names. Some names get invented because the kids cannot pronounce Grandma and Grandpa. My niece and nephew called my in laws Grammas and Grampas, and it was adorable. Bubbe, Zehda, Pops Poppa, Nana Nanny, have been around for ages. Opa, Oma, Yia Yia and Noona are ethnic favorites.

I chose Grammy, I thought it was cute and fun. My mother is G.G. for great grandmother. I know Grams , Granny, Mom Mom, Gramps, Pa, Grampop. There is always "Sugar" for those who give the most, sweetness. Let's face it, what is important is not what they call you, but that they call. What is your favorite grandparent name?

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Soup Ate The Spoon

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I have been cooking a lot of soup. It is cold in New York. I bought a wonderful slow cooker, and beautiful new red pot...and I  cook soup. While I stand stirring, with my long wooden spoon, I remembered a generational story about my great Aunt Dora, my grandmother's sister. She was the roundest, noisiest, best cook in the family. Her apartment always exploded with cousins, confusion and laughter. Dora was in the kitchen, cooking, giving orders to the other women. I loved to visit this house. I would see my cousins,and eat great food. Being an only child, I loved the mischief and fun we had there.
         
The best of the dishes was Aunt Dora's thick and spicy vegetable soup. It was made in a giant pot, because people were always dropping by. You could smell the soup down the hall, probably in the elevator as well. My cousins and I were sent to the bedrooms to play and told STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN. We would try to sneak back into the kitchen to steal food. My Aunt would wave the wooden spoon and swat the closest child, while screaming in several languages.

The game was - how to sneak into the kitchen. The problem - how to get the adults out of the kitchen? A plot was hatched...the game afoot. The youngest cousin Mark, started to scream and cry help. The adults dropped everything and ran into the bedroom to save Mark. Success... we were in the kitchen. Sharon the gutsy cousin climbed on a chair and tried to stir the soup with the big wooden spoon. As the woman returned with Mark, Sharon dropped the spoon in the pot, and she watched it sink to the bottom.

Clearly the soup ate the spoon. We all ate the soup that night. We had too. Were we eating wood? I did not enjoy the soup much that night. Nothing was ever mentioned about the missing wooden spoon/ or the dangerous spoon eating soup. Fifty plus years later I am the Grammy, I hope my grandchildren will love my soups. Spoon soup anyone?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Art of the Worry

I remember a fellow teacher asking about my college age children. You are so lucky, they are not home, you don't have to worry about them...There is general worrying and specific worrying. Grandma's worries are like that.  If you live with children or are the primary care takers you get specific worries. Did they eat today, are they dressed warm enough? Can I manage my errands around their naps? If you are a visiting grandparent you can only worry about what you see, or what you are told. I think of these as worldly worries.

What are worldly worries? Well I could worry about what college my darling P will attend, or how the bill of a million dollars a semester,  will be paid for. Since this worry is almost two decades away, it is not that productive a topic. What do other grandparents worry about? It seems my friends have a constant source of topics. Grandparents are concerned with discipline in the home, too much, too little, too new wave. Are the grandchildren toilet trained? too may presents, not the right presents, spoiled children, deprived children, biting???

Why so much worry? I think these thoughts form a mental and emotional connection to the generations. It makes us feel closer to loving and caring for/ a connection...Is any of this productive? Yes if you, like me, are trying out for a spot on the next Olympic worry team. I think I will have a lot of competition.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Folklore Cures and Urban Legends - but do they work?

It is cold and flu season. Every family has their own special treasure chest of cures, and remedies. They are passed through the families,  as old as the ages. Most are like chicken soup and honey for colds. Universal, tried and true. Some not so common. When couples make a new home together they bring their family cures and belief systems.

What YOU think is a perfectly normal and plausable cure, is strange and odd to someone else. I offer our coke syrup ( cure for vomiting). You would go to the neighborhood luncheonette ( what's a luncheonette) and buy coke syrup. No it is not a drug.! Now, we substitute flat cola. You drink 1 teaspoon of soda every 5 minutes for 1 hour. If you vomit you begin again. At the end of the hour you are cured.

The Rock Candy Cure

Each time my son had a cough my mother in law broght over Rock Candy. It is white and hard and pointy. My son never had candy, or gum and very little sugar before he started school. You can imagine not MY favorite cure. Interestingly my friend tells me her grandmother in Germany would carve out a white radish, and added pieces of rock candy, and made a potent radish juice, used for coughs. It was a very popular and successful remedy.

Lastly I would like to offer the perfect meal for sick children, fussy eaters of the world, and pregnant quessy girls. CCCC this one honors you!  Cherrios, or fruit loops, sometimes worn as a necklace, or bracelet, and ices for dessert. Offer your beloved family cures very quietly. Got any good ones to share?

Monday, November 5, 2012

My disclaimer

I have a disclaimer, I do not spell well. It's a problem. You will see errors. I apologize in advance. My typing ...fair. That is why I taught kindergarten and not High School English. Also if you would like to comment or post and I hope you do, mail it to me at judyc124@aol.com. I will add it to the blog.

I want to welcome all new grandparents to the best club in the world, and your new job title "observer". I do not say this sarcastically or with a hint of regret. The new parents ARE IN CHARGE. and if you are lucky like I am, you will be relieved to see, everything is going to be fine.

When our darling baby P arrived I was flooded with memories of my own children's births. We received calls, emails, cards and even grandparent gifts. Everybody wanted to hear every detail, and wish congratulations to the whole family, Most of my friends knew my son his entire life-multigenerations are beautiful. The birth was especially wonderful because it made my mother a G.G. great gandmother. As soon as we looked at the precious baby I realized things have changed. The girls have new philosophies, different baby products, and techniques. I learned what swaddling was, and I learned about breast feeding. Welcome to your new role as observer. In fact if you would like to take charge, I suggest you buy a puppy. Mine is named Stormy.

Being the observer is a good thing, just another new role in life. Believe that the new parents are knowledgable and wise. They love their children unconditionally and children are very resilient. Voice all your concerns to me, and your friends. Everything is going to be great. Stormy is doing very well!