Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Toddler speak is interesting on a normal day. Many parents are familiar with words spoken by their children that no stranger would ever understand. For the most part, this is true for myself and my daughter. I know most of what she is saying, but there are still quite a few moments that I struggle. Do you know whose fault this is? My husband and his English accent.

I don’t know what my husband is saying half the time.

First of all, if I have never heard Louis say a specific word or phrase before, sometimes I have absolutely no clue what he is talking about. You’d be shocked the differences in speech and culture, and even after 2 years of marriage we still run into communication mishaps. It’s all even more exciting now that Hallie’s speech is developing.

My daughter has an interesting accent.

Being raised in America, Hallie’s accent is primarily American. However, if you listen to her vowels, you’ll notice something different. Hallie’s vowels are shockingly English and sometimes I can’t tell if she is saying “hat” or “hot.” It’s not a big deal, but it makes me feel terrible that I’m staring at my child blankly. Louis will walk in and know exactly what she’s talking about, and I’m still left confused.

Even the phrasing is hard to keep up with.

Louis and I have different phrases that mean the exact same thing, but which one Hallie understands is a crap shoot. We can’t always remember what Hallie knows, because we try to teach her pieces of both cultures. So, Louis will say something a few times, only to get a blank stare from Hallie in return. We look at each other wondering why suddenly Hallie doesn’t know what we are talking about. Then, I’ll try the American phrase and it clicks with her. It would be more helpful if Louis and I could remember what we are teaching. Fail.

Hallie’s accent is charming, and even I have adopted a few English phrases. It’s a lot of fun watching Hallie develop knowledge of two different cultures, despite my confusion. I’m hoping I’ll get better at hearing both of their accents, but I predict more miscommunication in our future. Hallie, however, will probably know what everyone is talking about. Lucky her.