Sure, there are some parents who think it's important to get their 3-year-olds speaking French, or Spanish, or Mandarin Chinese. I say, rather than spend all of that time and energy ensuring their future as worldly, bilingual adults, focus on the short-term and boost their adorableness now. How, you ask? Simple: give them British accents! Come on, what's cuter: your kid parlez-vous-ing francais? Or looking up at you with his big, round eyes and an empty ice cream bowl, asking, "Mummy, may I have sum mo please?" No contest!
Having spent all of three days in London this month, I believe that I am totally qualified to "My Fair Lady" my unborn lads, and turn them into proper English gentleman. Actually, they don't even need to be all that refined ... just sound like they are. Let's be honest: it doesn't get much cuter than a little UK kid asking for a biscuit. So, in honor of the Royal Wedding, here is my master plan to get my red-blooded American boys talking like little princes...
- Start early ... like in utero: It's recently come to my attention that my twin boys can actually hear and recognize sounds coming from outside the womb. Hmmm, so if they are becoming accustomed to my dog barking and my husband's voice, perhaps a little Masterpiece Theater (pronounced Mahstah-peese Tha-ATE-er) will get them grooving on the refined, Upstairs Downstairs dialect. Of course, if that proves too boring, we can always just listen to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
- Swap cookies and milk for scones and clotted cream: While in London, my husband and I treated ourselves to a proper English tea. Between the Earl Grey, the sweets and the clotted cream with jam, my babies were going nuts in there. It's like they're trying to tell me that they want to be British, right?! Now I just need to get myself a teapot, find a specialty store that sells all that loose tea and scone-y fare, and make it a family staple forever.
- Find the Beckhams and become Mom friends with Posh: Did I mention that I live in LA? Did I mention that the Beckhams live in LA and that I saw Victoria on an airplane once and that I know where her kids go to school because I went there too? So, we're practically six degrees from being best friends anyway. Now, I've never actually heard her children speak, so I'm not sure if they've got the accents. But she has a new baby on the way, around the time our babies are due, so maybe I can run into her at Mommy and Me somewhere, get my boys to give her their most handsome "playdate-me" faces, and convince her that we all should be spending a lot of time at their place ... preferably around whoever in that house has the most infectious British accent.
- Get ourselves a nanny: We weren't really planning on getting a nanny, but look at what Mary Poppins did for those Banks children! As far as qualifications, we just need her to be "English-speaking," and by that, we mean she has to speak with an English accent.
- Insist on proper pronunciation of "Mummy" and "Dahddy": No Mama and Dada business in our house! Proper British accents begin at home.
- Watch all the coverage of the Royal Wedding and repeat commentary in a fake British accent.
- And if all else fails, we'll just move to London: Yes, I'll miss my family and friends. Yes, it's crazy expensive to live there. Yes, it means we'd have to get work visas and jobs over there. But if it means little accents for our children, then for the love of the Queen and Toad-in-the-Hole and Monty Python and all things good and British and holy, we've got to do it! Then, when they're around 6, and the adorableness of their accents has lost some of its luster, we'll move back to the States -- er, sorry, the Colonies.
Of course, I'm kidding (mostly) about making my kids British, but a girl can dream, can't she? Do you have any funny little hopes for your babies-to-be?
Image via Podknox/Flickr