Meredith has always said she wouldn’t raise babies in a tiny, city apartment. The city we live in currently is not big by any standards, nor terribly unsafe. Still, I can see her point. The three little girls that live upstairs in our building have constructed a small play area in the dirt under our front stoop and often play with things like discarded cable wire.
The new house sits in a charming New England neighborhood where all the lawns are trim and neat, and the neighbors are friendly without seeming intrusive. The kind of neighborhood where the mailman parks at the end of the street to walk up and visit with each house while delivering the mail. It has a warm feel. Even with sawdust and paint fumes flying around, the house already feels like home. And if we can get Duncan to go out into the backyard by himself to poop and pee, we’ll be in business.
Meredith’s mother, who has owned several properties over the years, has been a big help in our renovations so far. I learned recently that she is very concerned about what our nonexistent children – her future grandchildren – will call her when they ask for candy and sodas. She is opposed to Grandma. She detests Granny and above all Grammie. And, although her personality might infer something like Grandmother, she’s recently come up with something more original. Last week, while on their commute back from Boston, she told Meredith,
“I’d like it if the children called me Lana.”
As a kid, I knew a woman named Lana who looked like she’d stepped out of an episode of “Cagney & Lacey.” Her glasses had that great 1970s tint and she always smelled like patchouli and body odor. The name Lana doesn’t bring back fond memories.
But now, even after just a few days, whenever my mother-in-law enters the room, Meredith and I both hail,
“It’s Lana the Nana!”