Anna is very verbal and has always been able to express herself very clearly. I am thrilled that she shows little of the debilitating shyness I experienced as a child, even if it is at the expense of a little modesty on her part. Going out on a limb it seems that American children are much more self-confident and vocal than their British counterparts. Or maybe times have changed and I'm talking out of my arse. I certainly don't mean to suggest that the old 'children should be seen and not heard' culture still exists in the UK, but it does seem that American kids are more encouraged to voice their opinions. They are not backwards in coming forwards. Again, it comes down to the idea that freedom of speech seems to result in Americans feeling that they have to share their thoughts all the time.
What I'm struggling with, still, is not what she has to say, but how she chooses to say it. I've long since reconciled myself to the fact that my little cuckoo won't have a British accent, unless we move back in the very near future. I will try my best to avoid her having that peculiarly nasal whine that a lot of Californian women have, 'Sanna Barrbrah!'. Sorry. King Canute might have a better chance. What I'm still finding it hard to deal with, what I struggle with myself, is that it's not how you pronounce a word, it's what words are being used. What grates more than her accent is her phrases, her word choices. And quite honestly mine too. I find myself wondering what I used to say before I started every sentence with 'like', or when precisely I started using 'mad' instead of 'cross'. I used to have to translate myself to be understood, then the translation became automatic and suddenly I can't remember what I made the translation from anyway.
I'm going to sound like the complete snob that I am when I write that it bothers me to hear Anna talk Californian slang all the time. I wonder if she's going to be at school writing 'dude, it was such a bummer that the weekend was totally fogged out and we like had to hang indoors for like, ever'. Is it worth fighting? Is it the equivalent of a New York parent moving to the South and hating their kids say 'y'all', or kids from the north of England moving to London and suddenly ending every sentence with 'yeah'???
Re-reading this I sound as if I'm about a hundred years old. How much does it matter these days anyway? I'm not suggesting I want a precocious 3 year old parroting her pretentious parents by saying 'mother, the weather this weekend was so utterly abhorrent we were completely unable to go outside'. Some middle ground would be lovely (how English of me). In some ways it's just as startlingly odd to hear a small child use grown up words such as 'perplexed' and 'ravenous'. As much as I hate hearing her saying 'bummer!' (my pet peeve) I have to conclude that it's just my inherent snobbery. After all, I'd be so much happier hearing Anna use British slang and admit to being 'bloody knackered' instead of 'wiped out'.
I am trying to get her to replace 'bummer' with 'bollocks' though.