Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mum's the Word

O just came up behind me as I sat quietly down to use the computer and ripped a band-aid off the back of my ankle. "Hurting, mummy?" "Um, yes, O. It is now. Thanks."

I was sitting down to type something about kids extra-curricular activities and how the US and UK differ, but that's going to have to keep. I just completely distracted myself by typing the word "mummy." With a U. Apparently, that's me. And while I am used to hearing it from the kids, I still have a hard time writing it out without conjuring up Scooby-Doo-style images of goofy dead guys wrapped in toilet paper. (Hey, it's actually old Professor Smith!)

M used to speak with a Brooklyn accent, but she switched to an English one within 3 months of our move here and quickly transition from Mommy to Mummy, probably from hearing all her nursery friends and having it reinforced by Husband. She can still imitate some of the American sounds with other words, but there is really no hope for O, who cannot pronounce the letter "R" to save his life. Hurting is Huhting. Water is watah. Horse is Hoss. Fork is...um, you get the picture.

For the most part, I don't really notice their accents. But when I'm around other Americans or we travel back home (home?), it strikes me anew. They sound so English! Quick, somebody feed them some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Talk about sidewalks and pants! Play the American national anthem! Teach them about baseball! (God, someone else better do the baseball thing because I have no clue. All I know is that there is something called an RBI, thank you NY Times crossword. And beer. And hotdogs.)

And the thing is, they are English. Mostly. M actually told me that she "likes the rain" MORE THAN SHE LIKES THE SUN. Since we don't have any plans to move, I wonder how much of a connection they are going to feel with America. Will it feel at all like home? Or maybe a second home? Or perhaps it will just be that place they go for vacations. I love our life here, but I also loved growing up in the US and wish they could experience some of that as well. How else will they realize that dessert does not have to include dried fruit?


Ok, I'm fine now. I just realized I have some work to do planning my 4th of July BBQ (to be held July 3rd since they are too inconsiderate to give everyone the following day off.) That's when I'm going to start the indoctrination. "Listen here, children. The 4th of July is a Very Important Holiday. That's the day when MOmmy's country told Daddy's country to fork off. We like to celebrate it with potato salad. Dig in."

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