Grandmother calls my niece ‘her’ baby

It clearly bothers the parents, but how do you get her to stop saying that?



November 5, 2020 - 9:06 AM

(Nick Galifianakis/for The Washington Post)

Dear Carolyn: My mom is a first-time grandmother and refers to my niece as “my baby.” I can tell it irks my brother and sister-in-law, but they don’t say anything. 

Carolyn HaxCourtesy photo

Other than when she asks if I’ve seen “[her] baby” and I respond that no, he was at work, but I did see her granddaughter, can I say anything? Or do these things pass when the next grandkid comes?

— Grandma’s “Baby”

Grandma’s “Baby”: Oh, my, you have a chance to be a saint here.

“Mom — I know you’re over the moon for your grandbaby. You’re a great grandma. Please trust me here: Calling the baby ‘my baby’ is, I’m guessing, getting under Brother and Sister-in-Law’s skin. They haven’t said anything to me, I’m just calling what I see. And I assume they’ve said nothing to you, I’m sure, because they know how great you are and don’t want to sound mean. But, fit a ‘grand-’ in there, or switch to Pookie, or something.”

You’re just in a great position to say this one for the team.

By the way, saying that “her baby” is at work is hilarious.

Re: Grandma’s “Baby”: My mother-in-law called my daughter — first grandchild on both sides of the family — “Nana’s baby.” As in, she repeated the words “Nana’s baby” endlessly in a madness-inducing loop of baby talk whenever she visited us during my daughter’s first three months of life. My husband, bless his heart, asked her to stop. And bless her, too, because she did stop.

— Daughter-in-Law

Daughter-in-Law: And bless you for this ray of hope.

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