I liked this Cup of Jo post by Erin Moore, an American, on the 15 surprising things about parenting in England. I became a mom after we moved back to the states so am intrigued by the cultural differences. Particularly the differences on compliments, on never bragging and on drinking (even at an under-fives birthday party at 10 a.m. on a Sunday! Love it!). Read on.
This morning, I sang to my daughter “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
What? You didn’t know there were two versions? Ah, well there are! There’s the American version (“The Itsy Bitsy Spider” that you know and love) and the British version (“Incy Wincy Spider” – same melody except Incy Wincy is the spider’s name).
For the record, there are also British versions of …
* “Ring around the Rosie” (same as the American version except for the genius “A-tissue, A-tissue” line where the more solemn “Ashes, Ashes” would normally go)
* “If You’re Happy and You Know It” (same as the American version except for the line “If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it” is subbed for the “If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it” that I grew up with)
* “The Wheels on the Bus” (again, same as the American version except for the ending “All day long” instead of “All through the town”)
I love that there are two versions of these songs and I love that my kids will know them both. Sure, they’ll probably get teased mercilessly when they unfortunately whip out the “Incy Wincy” version in company that is decidedly “Itsy Bitsy”-centric, but hey, that’s part of being dual nationality. It’s character building and I wouldn’t want it any other way.