Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Dilemma of Being Grandma

You know how it is when they dial for your fave pizza -- not just ordinary pizza, but meat-lovers, all in, cheese-encrusted. premium pizza?! It is delivered still steaming, making your mouth water. And as you grab the slice or two you feel entitled to, you are told the incredible. That the whole caboodle of golden crust and scrumptious toppings is yours, all yours. And you feel so giddy and greedy your eyes begin to water, too.

Giddy and greedy were how I felt when Baby Andrea Lorraine -- proclaimed by titos and titas an Angel Locsin lookalike -- was delivered by caesarian section two weeks ago. As Mommy had a lot of mending to do, and Daddy had to be at her beck and call, where does that leave baby with?

With grandma of course.

First there is this little problem with granny names. Mamita sounds so conyo for someone so pleasantly peasanty. Mamilo (mommy-lola) or Lomi (lola-mommy) has a noodley ring to it and we’re no big fan of pancit. Lolita (lola-tita) seemed promising at first, but why give Nabokov’s nymphet a nuance of antiquity? Lolit (lola liit) is too cutesy. And granola is such a mouthful; besides it is already taken by an amiga, also a new lola.

So lola, simply lola, it is.

And as it turned out, Lola is no longer the sprightly, springy mommy she used to be.

Oh sure, she still remembers the old tricks.

She can still maneuver baby on one hand and mix formula with the other.

She can still half sit, half lie down on the bed, feeding and burping and nappy-changing. She can also rise up with baby without help after trying seven times.

She still remembers most of the words of the “Dormi, dormi, dormi, good night and sleep well my love” lullaby she used to sing to her own babies, disregarding the snide remark of one of them, now all grown-up: “Mommy, hindi kaya ma-disintunado si Andrea?”

She can still catch 15-minute naps while cuddling baby, lulled by the sweetest scent God ever created -- baby’s breath.

She can still wake at the slightest rustle from the crib, even before baby begins to wail.

The trouble is in the morning. She simply can't get up.

As it turns out, the spirit is hardy, but the balakang and other assortment of bones are brittle.

And how go to work the next day with eyebags drooping to chin level?

So she files for a grand maternity leave for a few days, even if the personnel officer protests there’s no such thing.

Meanwhile she continues to sleep little or sleep not at all, psyching herself "a baby in the house is a wellspring of joy."

Still, she can't wait to turn over the wellspring to daughter-in-law.

She knows now she can take in only a piece or two of pizza, even if its meatlovers, all in, cheese-encrusted, and smelling like the most fragrant thing on earth.


auee said...

Oohh Anna, you remind me of my Nanay when I gave birth.

You know I have this grandma friend who took care of her apo for 2 years while the parents worked abroad. Then the parents declared they will take the kid away. Ayayay it was like WW III. Grandma was very hurt to let the kid go & told me how unfair it was for the parents to expect her to just "let go" like she took care of a dog.

"Hayy, ganun talaga" I wanted top tell her but I also know how deep the wounds were.

Anyhow, spoiler to your post but your reverie just brought so many things to mind.

BTW I LOVE baby's breath, too! Unfortunately my Kelvin's breath is not babyish anymore

noemi said...

Oh how exciting it must be for you. Natawa ako sa lola labels. I will also call myself a lola. I didn't have a mom to help me so it seemed a bit scary at first. I know I will be excited to be a grandma one day.

ScroochChronicles said...

Looks like you just fell in love with pizza...este...your apo. BTW, Nanay ko ganyan din with all her apos. I think "aboo" would sound nice. Short for "abuelita". O di ba conyotics din :)

Abaniko said...

How about Lona for you? Sounds young and personal, yeah? Cute baby there. :)

Abaniko said...

Btw, to make Lona sound hip, tell people to pronounce it like they do Donna. Hehe.

rowena said...

ayayay...excited na sa apo. You can try mommy or mama. My kids call my mom, mommy and they call me mama. My mom took care of my first-born for 3 years and it really affected her so much when we moved to hubby's place. Anyway, I bet you're eagerly awaiting retirement bec. of the first apo (a very lucky child indeed)...Cheers to a lovely baby!

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Annamanila. It must be such a pleasure to spend quality time with your granddaughter. A wonderful opportunity to bond with one another. I'm sure your distinctive voice and smell have already imprinted on her.

My son calls my mom and mother-in-law Mama + their names.

chateau said...

Welcome (back) to motherhood, haha. But I guess it's sweeter the second time around, eh? I think you're doing a great job with Andrea. And I have a feeling you will do just as good at spoiling her. :D
Take it easy now. See you around. I'm back.. i think.

myepinoy said...

Please do not worry yet as to what she will call you. It will take at least two years before she can speak.

If you'd allow me, i would like to suggest that the first word she will speak or murmur (pag karga karga mo sya) will be your granny name.

O di ba okay.

Pero on second thought baka meron problem kasi baka una nyang masabi eh mumu or momo... Just kidding.


Belle said...

anna,it was your scent, your warmth, your whisper, your breath that little Lorraine recognized first during her few weeks of her life. what a privilege! i would take the time off too if were in your shoes. congratulations lola!

exskindiver said...

the beauty of motherhood the second time around (as a lola)
is that you can return the baby when you are tired.

the beauty of having a support system in a lola--is that the mother knows that she can trust you to love and care for her daughter as your very own.

she is lucky.
(the "SHE" here being, you, andrea and andrea's mom)

rhodora said...

Oh, congratulations, my dear!

Inggit ako, gusto ko na rin! Kaka-miss ang baby sa bahay! But my kids are not ready yet, and I don't want to hurry them up.

Hmmmm... mag-ampon na lang kaya ako? hehehe.

Annamanila said...


I guess lolas must be prepared for anything.

In maybe two months, my apo and her mom and dad will move to a small place of their own -- back of our house. No complaints there. :)

Who knows that they wouldn't move farther and farther in the future?

Oks lang. You're right -- ganun talaga. :)

Annamanila said...


That must have been tough -- not having your mom in the early years of your motherhood. But it is very clear you were able to manage very well, regardless. :)

My daughter in law's mom is abroad -- a lucky thing for me, perhaps. hahaha Plus she has already a caboodle of grandkids while this is my first. :)

Annamanila said...

Scrooch cookie!

Ohahahaha. You're so right, I love pizza. So my analogy is not too off-kilter ha.

Aboo. Hmmm, sige, I will think about it. TY!

Annamanila said...


Lona (lola na?) sounds unique. Sige, will consider that. Salamat!

Ay, magpa-contest kaya ako. hahaha

Annamanila said...


Isn't mommy or mama for the younger lolas? :)

Yes, you're so right. Retirement is now doable, even palatable because of new babies. My blog is also my baby. :)

Will try hard to be a cool lola.

Annamanila said...


Mama Anna sounds nice (nicer than mama myrna -- haha)! Hmmmm

Yup, lola and apo are bonding closely. Kagabi lang, she slept with me because the parents had a hard time pacifying her -- medyo bad sya kagabi, eh. Maybe its because their room is so small -- hindi sya mapag-hele duon. (I wonder if folks know what hele means?!) While I can ballroom-dance in mine (comparatively, haha).

Annamanila said...


Welcome back. Everyone is entitled to blog holidays di ba?

It is so easy to spoil a first child and a first apo, ano? We will try hard not to. Ty for the reminder.

Annamanila said...


Oo nga naman ... matagal pa bago makasalita. Pasensya na, excited eh. :)

Her first words will be my lola name? Oo nga sana. Pero I don't want naman to deprive the parents of that experience.

Annamanila said...



Experience (and I think studies too) shows that the first words baby usually say are: dada. Swerte nyo.

Mumu ... ngyeee. haha.

Annamanila said...


My scent, my breath, my voice, my warmth leave an imprint on her, being the first she sensed -- oooh, I like that very much! Ty.

Toe said...

Hahahaha! Hindi ako maka-relate... you know me... I'm always threatening to flush my nephews and nieces down the toilet. :) But you're so funny Granola Annamanila!!!! :) This post really made me laugh. Your bones don't look so brittle to me. :)

Abaniko said...

Hindi naman "Lola na" but "Lola Anna." Ano ba? :)

Mitch said...

My mom insisted that Deye should call her Mamita, ayaw patawag ng lola hahaha!

Annamanila said...


Aha, you're so right Cheska -- its a beautiful setup from all vantage points ha?! Good thinking, as usual. :)

Annamanila said...


Be patient. I don't think you would be waiting for too long. :)

Musta na Rhoda? Are you blogging again. Ah, will find out soon enough.

Annamanila said...


I hope someday, you'd be able to relate. :)

Maybe when my breeders (six of them!) all produce babies and I am faced with a mob of apos, I would also think of toilet flushing. hahaha.

And if I am funny, you are funnier, in fact funniest!

pining said...

I guess taking care of a baby comes like a second nature to mothers or in your case to grandmas!
I gather it's your first one because that's how my mother is with her first apo...
your granddaughter is very lucky because she'll always be the most memorable if not the favourite one :-)
Congrats again Anna :-)

Annamanila said...


Oo nga naman. Lona, for lola ana. Jos ko, napagalitan tuloy ako ni Tiniko (tito abaniko). hehe

Annamanila said...


Oo nga, bawal na yata ang Lola ngayon. Mamita, eh okay naman talaga. Mukha lang pang-donya. Pang-pilita. hahaha

Annamanila said...


Are your boys the first your mom have as apos? I am sure she was so tickled. Ang gua-guapo!

Yup, the first-born (child or apo) is really unforgettable and special, especially if so overdue like mine is.

snglguy said...

How about "Amah" then? The Hokkien word for paternal grandmothers... :-)

Weng said...

Hi Annamanila! First of all, congratulations! Apos really bring a special kind of happiness to lolas. And however hard you say (as did the many other lolas!) that you'll try not to spoil them, naku, I don't think that ever happens. Haha!

My little girl, Abby, calls my Mom, "Mimi". It's short for Mommy Emy. And I also love baby's breath. When Abby was still a baby, I would conveniently position my face next to hears so that I could smell her every breath. Sigh. She's three na. Hindi na puwede! Hahaha!

Thank you for visiting my site! It's an honor. ;)

the philosphical bastard said...

i heard it's best to spoil the grandkid and leave the discipline up to the parents. kinda like payback! :P

Gina said...

Talagang dilemma ha, kung paano ka tatawagin ni Andrea Lorraine?
Natawa ako sa Mamita kasi naalala ko si Pilita Corrales.
At sobrang natawa sa Mamilo at Lomi- pancit sounding nga, =)))

Lola- I guess that's good enough.

But however your darling apo calls you when she is finally able to talk- i'm sure that would be the sweetest sound in the world for Annamanila!

Mixednuts said...

congratulations! I am sure she will be spoiled by you. It is true what they say about grandparents--they just love their apos and will spoil them.

Jap said...

Andrea looks so cute! =) Congrats to your family, Anna.

I think Lala would fit you, would sound good when the baby starts speaking. Just stay away from MoLa (Mommy Lola), there's something behind that name I couldn't quite figure out. hmmm.

adele said...

Baby Andrea Lorraine is one lucky baby. Not only because she is the first but because you are the grandma. And she came at a time when you are still up and about and able to indulge and spoil her.
I don't have one yet but I'm sure when I do, kalolokohan ko din.
My first apo is from my nephew. I saw her when she was already walking kaya hindi ko napupog ng halik. But when I see her, I can't help but be entertained by her antics.
One time she kept on inventing lyrics to her song. She was saying, "Ang sabon...bumubula...pag nababasa." We did not give it much thought. But when my brother asked her where she put the cake of newly opened bath soap, she said she wet it in the drumful of water in the garage and left it there to make bula.
In no time at all, your Baby Andrea Lorraine will amze you with her wisdom in all her innocence.

Anonymous said...

Bakit nga ba ayaw ng mga lola magpatawag ng lola. Loli, lala, lomi, lona ... anything but lola.

Congrats anna.

Annamanila said...


Amah. That's how my children called my mom-in-law. And she's really great! Amah. How could I have forgotten. y for reminding me. If this were a contest, panalo ka na yata. hahaha

julie said...

Aw, Annamanila, you made it "sound" like being a grandma is very exciting.

Natawa naman ako sa grand maternity leave, hahaha! I love the sweet smell of babies, so fresh and so pure.

I wish you good health to be able to enjoy your grandchild. Makes one feel young again huh?

Do take care and give the baby a hug from us. :)

Annamanila said...


My girls, I mean daughters, call me Mimi when they feel especially malambing. I am getting very good suggestions for gramma labels I am actually confused. haha

I will try very hard to be loving without spoiling. Imposible ba talaga? hahaha

Annamanila said...

Philosophical bastard!

Payback? Oo nga ano? Now I remember the old saying that grandkids are "tubo sa puhunan."

Annamanila said...


I actually know of someone -- a friend -- who is called Lomi by her grandkids. This avoidance of "lola" can really be crazy. Eh di ba, whatever Lola wants, Lola gets? haha

Ty for your warm thoughts, Gina.

Annamanila said...

Mixed Nuts!

Ok, I will spoil her na nga so I won't disappoint you. hahaha I really need to read up on babies again.

Annamanila said...


Thank you. We all agree -- all ten of us in our household -- that she's growing prettier each day. But that can be very biased opinion. :) Lala is nice too. :) Mola? -- hindi ba may kabayong mola? haha

Annamanila said...


Thanks for sharing that heartwarming story about your apo by your pamangkin. I hope my Andrea grows up as smart and lovable as she is.

Annamanila said...


Ewan ko nga sa kanila ba\t ayaw nila. I know in the US, Lola is a glamorous name, di ba?

Annamanila said...

Teacher Julie!

Thank you very mucho for your warm wishes. I really need to be fit and healthy. Tonight, when I came home, I took her and I realized how much heavier she has become in two weeks! Ooohlalala, my arms get so ngalay with her weight. I don't want to think that I might not be able to handle her in a few months.

MrsPartyGirl said...

to differentiate between her two lolas, my ninna calls my mom "lola mommy" and hubby's nanay "lola nanay". :) i really wish we had her lolas here with us (it would also be a big help to my sanity, haha). we miss them sooo much.

so, did HR approve your grand maternity leave? :D

Manila Mom said...

Congratulations on your new baby! Aw, the new family is very lucky to be living beside you.

We were living a door away from my parents when our 3 kids were born and as they grew up. It's the best set up for everyone. Grandparents and grandkids really bond and enjoy each other while parents are given both moral support and free babysitting, hehe.

I would love to do the same for my grandchildren in the future. Nakaka-miss ang mag-cuddle ng baby at ang heavenly smell ng baby's breath!

kathy said...

I never really knew my Lolos/Lolas, so I didn't really know how affectionate and caring grandparents could be with their grandchildren until my own daughter was born and my parents doted on her like crazy. :)

Enjoy the new experience! I'm so happy for you.

Annamanila said...


I was lucky to have mty children's grandma (my own mom) at my beck and call when I was a young mother. So I guess I am just paying it forward.

Myg grandmaternity leave was approved but as a "special leave." haha. Pero seriously, being grandma is a very valid excuse for taking a week off, di ba?

Annamanila said...


I think grandmotherhood is a long way off for you. But it will be worth the waiting. In meantime, enjoy your children whatever stage of growing they are in.

Annamanila said...


Thanks. I think doting grandparents are really the norm. There is something about a newborn that can melt even jaded hearts.

la dy cess said...

hi Am. sorry it took me this long to read your posts. nasira kasi computer ko, so blog leave by force :D

love this post, kakatuwa. reminds me of my mom, who refused to be called lola. mama lang daw, the same way we call her. and she loves all of her apos so dearly, but yep, i can tell she only wants a piece of the pizza pie. graduate na nga naman na siya sa pagiging new mommy :)

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