A wee motherly influencePosted: February 8, 2012
We’ve recently started making a real effort to film our baby. We learned after having an award winning filmmaker capture our wedding, just how important it is and just how much you miss without audiovisual footage.
We’ve so far collected a lovely set of films of Camille, each uploaded to YouTube and sent to grandparents. It’s simply wonderful.
What has surprised me is how Scottish I am! Each time I watch a film back I am completely taken aback by what I hear. Everyone comments on their own accent when they hear a recording but for me it has been a revelation.
It’s a running joke with my Essex-born-and-bred husband that he is not allowed to speak to the baby until she is at least five. She may only converse with her Mummy thus cancelling out any potential Essex influence. This is no England vs Scotland debate, it’s simply the case that I have benefited so much from my own accent that I would love her to inherit it. I thought I must have lost it a bit having been exiled in Essex for 10 years. But there it was!
I do wonder, when she utters her first official word (not just gurgling ba ba ba all day long), does it come out in a completely generic accent-less voice? Or is it possible that her very first word will pop out with a rolled R sound?
Now, I know that living where we do, she will lose any accent influence the minute that she is out of my sight and let loose at nursery or school. So, the pressure is on me to embed it in her now. I confess, yes I do play her music featuring my accent. I do occasionally read to her from the book “Katie’s Coo”. Or sing verses of “Ye cannae shove yer granny aff the bus”. I’m not very discreet.
My own accent is a mish-mash of Edinburgh and Galloway, slowed down thanks to my time down south and some say a wee hint of Belfast thrown in (!). I am regularly asked “which part of Ireland are you from?”, to which my answer is a confusing “the Scottish part”. It has served me very well through the years as an icebreaker. A Scottish accent is often judged to be the most trustworthy when dealing in business. It has a definite romanticism about it. Think rolling hills of heather in Braveheart, not rolling joints in Trainspotting. I have been stopped in shops and in the street due to it. I have made instant friendships with strangers. And I wouldn’t even know how to begin to describe the reaction during my student exchange in the USA. Except that it was the closest to celebrity that I will ever come.
I want Camille to stand out and she will as she is already blossoming into a gorgeous and funny little thing. But to open her lovely mouth and have her voice pop out in a soft Scottish lilt would be such a bonus.
I know that all of this is futile and that she will develop a nice local accent, whatever I do. But I can but try. Oh aye, I can but try.