“I don’t want peanut butter on my sandwich, just jelly.”
“Well, you should have peanut butter. It has protein. You need protein.”
“Potein? What that?”
“Protein’s one of the things you need to grow up to be big and strong.”
A thoughtful frown. “I don’ want that on my sandwich.”
“Hey, do you know what muscles are made of?” I feel Acorn’s skinny bicep, and flex my own and to show him. “They’re made of protein!”
He giggles. I turn back to the bread and the knife.
“So. How about if I put just a little peanut butter on your sandwich?”
“No… I want WOTS of peanut butter! Put wots of peanut butter on my sandwich!”
The sole focus of Acorn’s speech therapy for the last five months has been on getting him to correctly pronounce /f/ sounds. He can do it most of the time when reminded, but in casual speech it usually comes out as some other sound. A couple of months back, he learned the word “fart,” and while he didn’t find it as amusing as some people’s children seem to, he’s usually a very polite child and wanted to excuse himself after that.
So he started saying, “Excuse me, I charted!”
Doesn’t quite have the same effect, does it? And thus I found myself painstakingly teaching my three-year-old to say “fart.”
“No, Acorn. Fart. Fffffffffart. Fuh, fuh, fuh. The sound that an F makes, remember?”
“Fuh, fuh. Fart.”
I was inspired to share this last story thanks to a comment at Finslippy. It amused me to realize that unlike the commenter’s child, my son can say Nemo just fine, but one of the major taboo words in our culture would come out of his mouth as “chuck.”