Friday, May 09, 2008

My British Daughter

To the woman at the pet store yesterday:

No, my daughter does not have a foreign accent. She has a speech impediment. A speech impediment that makes her sound British.

She's about to end her fourth year of speech therapy, and her "R" remains as elusive as ever. But hopefully before junior high, she'll be sounding like an American.

And yes, she is a little sensitive about it. I just wanted to explain the awkward silence that followed your comment.


I also struggled to find my "R" in elementary school. I wouldn't say my middle name (Carol), and I would only name the state we had moved from (New Mexico) because the actual town (Roswell) had an "R" in it. I heard the passing comment every once in a while from kids outside my circle, but my friends were cool about it. Especially my best friend, whose name was Lori. Yep, as luck would have it, Little Miss Speech Impediment had a best friend whose name had an "R" right in the middle of it. I couldn't avoid saying her name. She was my best friend. So I just called her "Low-ee." We both knew I was saying it wrong, but she never said a word about it. That's the mark of a true friend.

Julia has also been blessed by good friends who have never poked fun at the way she talks. She just gets occasional comments and questions from strangers (usually adults, like the pet store lady) who are surprised to hear a British accent in central Arkansas.

However, Julia is getting close to the age that I'm afraid she will get made fun of if she doesn't conquer "Mt. R" soon. Maybe it would be easier for us to move to England and have everyone wonder about my accent instead of hers.

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  • At Fri May 09, 07:28:00 PM, Blogger Tracy said…

    Ugh! Cassie still has a lot of speech problems and after 2 yrs of ST, she still can't say her 'f's'. So instead of saying that she was 4, she'd say 'sore' and instead of 5, she says 'sive'. She is sensitive it about it too. Hugs to Julia!

  • At Fri May 09, 08:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've only seen photos of your cute little Julia, and you just can't tell by looking! Barbara Walters still hasn't mastered her Rs yet - and look at her success. (Wait, I hope that's encouraging and not DIScouraging...) Are r's really that important? I think it would be cute to sound British in Arkansas. Mine couldn't say their Ks - so we ate tandy and tooties and had a dog named Tlarence. It's almost sad when they grow out of it...


  • At Sat May 10, 07:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Come on over!...but be warned, one pound equals fifty US cents...

  • At Sat May 10, 07:45:00 PM, Blogger Winston said…

    I've just got to tell a story about Deana and her R's ... or rather her lack of them.

    When she was in grade school and they were trying to get her R's to come in, she was signed up for some speech therapy.

    She came home the first afternoon following her first session of therapy and she was just a giggling.

    Each pupil had been given an "animal" name as their identity.
    For example, a boy classmate could not pronounce his L's so he was named Larry Lizard. Deana was giggling because the boy referred to himself as Wowee Wizard.

    My wife then asked Deana what name they had given to her. She replied with all seriousness, "Oh, my teacha calls me Wicky Wacoon."

    Not wishing to laugh in Deana's face, my wife and I made a hasty exit to a back room, closed the door literally fell to the floor in convusive laughter.

    By the way, her R's did come in a few months later.

  • At Sun May 11, 06:17:00 PM, Blogger Carol said…

    I had the same speech problem and so does Aubrey. At least Julia's first name isn't Carol!! Aubrey sounds more like she's from Boston. People can be so thoughtless.

  • At Mon May 12, 05:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've wanted to run away to New Zealand. Maybe you all can come with me?

  • At Mon May 12, 07:16:00 AM, Blogger preacherman said…

    I want you to know I loved reading your blog. I look forward to reading your blog more. I am from Abilene. I have a favor for you and your readers and that is to stop by my blog for a few minutes and leave a message and prayer for a family who is hurting incrediblely. It would make a difference in the lives of an entire family. So please...stop by and make a difference. It won't take long at all.
    God bless you.
    I pray that God's richest blessing fall on every aspect of your life.
    In Him,
    Kinney Mabry

  • At Mon May 12, 07:43:00 AM, Blogger slc newlyweds said…

    I feel her pain! I had a lisp until 4th grade, and having the name AlliSon didn't help...

  • At Mon May 12, 12:40:00 PM, Blogger Leecy said…

    Lo-wi here.

    You know - honest to God it never occurred to me that you said my name like that. I just loved Deana and didn't even know you couldn't say your 'R' correctly until someone else pointed it out to me. It's not like it made any difference anyone. We were BFFs!

  • At Mon May 12, 01:14:00 PM, Blogger Leecy said…

    That should read:

    not like it made any difference anyway...not 'anyone'.

  • At Tue May 13, 12:36:00 PM, Blogger Jacinda said…

    Poor thing. I too struggle(d) with my "r." I remember distinctly going to speech therapy in 2nd grade. I also remember distinctly being made fun of in
    2nd grade for it!

    My grandfather's name and my dad's middle name is Roy and to this day, I can't say that name correctly most of the time. One of my biggest fears used to be eithr having a student names Roy or falling in love with someone named Roy! I can say words like car and road fine, but Roy & Troy are just hard for me and I avoid saying them pretty much like the plague!

    I'm sure Julia will overcome her struggle and handle it like a champ!

  • At Wed May 14, 09:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oops...bad math, one US Dollar is one-half british pound sterling...still can't do math and I'm a grown up.


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