So today, Moose and Zee were doing a rhyming game, and the word to rhyme with was "DOG". No problem, right? WRONG! Well, wrong if your mama is a transplant from New York and still has an accent on certain words - coffee (caw-fee), talk (tawlk), hall (hawll), water (war-ter), etc. Dog happens to be on of those words (dawg). So when the options came up as a rhyming word for Dog, I panicked. Here were the options: House. Car. Frog. The obvious answer is Frog - duh. But when you say "Dawg" for Dog and don't say "Frawg" for Frog, they don't rhyme. I don't say "Frawg". I say "Frog". The next set of rhymes came up, again to match up with DOG. The options were: Shoe. Cat. Hog. OH JEEZ! I don't say "Hawg". I say "Hog".
And then my mind started racing... am I setting my children up for failure when it comes to rhyming? And what about spelling?! Ok, that is a little dramatic. But it never occurred to me that having Miss Paige mimic my speech patterns could have a negative effect. Will her teachers think she's crazy? Will they try and correct her speech? I saw a Dateline once where they featured adults who "mysteriously" began speaking with English accents (a la Britney Spears circa 2006). She is already saying Dog, Call and Ball with a NY accent. Ay yi yi.
So now I have a dilemma: Can I change the way I speak, when the accent is already ingrained in me and it's use is subconscious? Do I need to? Can I just explain to her that Mommy says things differently (as does one half of her family tree!)? At the end of the day, does it even really matter?
I remember in first grade having a teacher's aid tell me I was writing my lowercase cursive "o" incorrectly. I was writing it like my sister did - with a little loop dipping into the "o" rather than just having it go straight across the top. I remember informing her - yes, at the wise old age of 6 - that I wasn't doing it "wrong" - just differently. And in my mind, that was fine.
I know in my heart Paige isn't going to have long term issues if she happens to say some words with a NY accent. There are a lot worse things in the world that she could do: like root for the Florida Gators or Auburn Tigers : ) Just kidding... (although my husband, Daniel, doesn't think there is anything funny about that). GO GEORGIA BULLDAWGS!!!