Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Call me Bubu

I may have been a little hasty 10 years ago by stating I would stop coloring my hair when I became a grandmother. That time has now come, but my colorist will still be seeing me once a month. I also need to tell my sister I’m moving the goalposts on my request that she smother me with a pillow when I start peeing my pants. Let’s change it to: “when I start peeing my pants regularly.”

It was a one-off, honest, and only a teeny, tiny bit after I’d consumed a lot of water, was out on a long hike, and someone made me laugh.

Forget about growing old gracefully, I am going to be dragged into my dotage kicking and screaming. There are so many adventures to be had ‒ like more trips to Fiji, where my Man Child lives, to get to know my first grandchild properly. Photographs and Skype are all well and good, but I want to teach her to bake, swim, read, write, and play hide-and-seek in person.

I hope she likes me. Of course she will. I’m fun. Parents are annoying. But grandparents are fun, fluffy and kind. Or rather, we should be. And wise. My grandchild’s father and aunt chose to ignore most of my advice and words of wisdom, but they are happy, healthy and thriving, so I must have done something right.

One of the best things we can do for our children (apart from loving and feeding them, of course) is to set a good example and learn from our own parents’ mistakes. My mother was unable to resist mentioning (constantly) that she didn’t like the name Marley that my sister chose for her daughter, as it reminded her of Marley’s ghost in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I vowed never to be so tactless and rude about my own children’s choice of names for their offspring.

Although I defy anyone not to raise an eyebrow when their son announces he is going to call his unborn child Vosamana, a Fijian name meaning: “what he says happens,” if it turned out to be a boy.

The baby is a girl, so we dodged the Vosamana bullet. She is completely gorgeous, super-smart, and has been named after her aunt and maternal grandmother: Mia Claire.

The Fijian word for grandmother is Bubu. That’ll do nicely. I’m way too young to be a Grandma or Grannie. I see one of my jobs to ensure Mia Claire is the best-dressed and best-educated girl in Fiji. My husband, Colin (or Grand Poppa C as he is now known), has never had children of his own, but is almost as besotted as I am with the baby.

He said it seems like the world is a different and better place since she’s been born. I’m glad he feels that way, because his Porsche fund just became Mia Claire’s college kitty.

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