On several occasions before we moved to London someone made a comment to me about how the kids were going to talk “British” once we were living in England. I felt obligated to point out that people in England speak the same language as people in America, but I knew what they meant. With Jayce in school full time, (and I didn’t even know it would be 33 hours a week at that point), I knew that he would pick up various English colloquialisms, slang, and maybe even a slight accent.
So it didn’t surprise me the first time that it happened. It was after about 3-4 weeks living here. In a weekend, there was,
This is quite good.
That’s quite hot.
I have to throw away my rubbishes.
Chris looked at me after the first instance and said, “I’m really sad.”
I wasn’t sad. Actually, I’ve never felt so many conflicting strong emotions at the exact same time. I remember that I froze where I sat, trying to get a grip on what I was feeling. The simultaneous desire to burst into relieved laughter or sad tears. A sight mourning that this was the start of Jayce adopting a culture that was different than Chris and I, but happy and relieved that he felt comfortable enough to take it on a little at a time. It was a small but poignant example of him changing, and meshing the life that he had always known with the life that he lives here in London.
It’s good. It’s a little sad.
Just after we moved, a man on the bus started a conversation with Jayce where he asked him what his favorite sport was. He suggested football, then a few others, and Jayce replied no to all of them. Jayce told him his favorite sport was soccer, and then they went on with their little chat.
Afterwards, we had a conversation where I explained to him that sometimes we call something a certain word, but in London they call it something else, but both words mean the same thing, like “football” and “soccer,” in this instance.
I also have made sure to tell him that in these instances, he can say whichever thing he wants, and that they’re both right. I don’t want him to feel like he has to say what his friends say, but I also want to give him permission to deviate from what Chris and I say. He can pick, and either thing is fine.
Since then, there are a few British phrases that are regulars around our house.
“Bin” instead of “trash can.”
“Rubbish” instead of “trash.”
“Quite” as a qualifier, as in “quite nice,” comes up a lot.
“Lovely.” When was the last time your 4 year old told you that dinner smelled lovely? Mine did last week. And it was lovely. 🙂
Obviously there is new bathroom language. He doesn’t go potty anymore, he has to “have a wee” or “have a poo.” (Nice, I know.)
However, the other day he tried to correct me on something. I said something about the trash can, and he said,
Mom, it’s not the trash can. In London they call it the bin.
You’re right, they do call it the bin in London, and you can call it the bin if you’d like. But I can call it whichever thing I’d like, and I’m going to call it the trash can.
So there’s that. It’s certainly not a big deal, but I thought I’d stamp that out quickly. I don’t need another way for my 4 year old to boss me around.