I can't believe I just used a Napoleon Dynamite reference because I thought that movie was the dumbest thing on Earth, but hopefully as you read the story below you'll see how it fits...hopefully.
In lieu of an Advent calendar this year, we are going through an Advent book with Jack. The book is kind of like the I Spy books and each day's devotion has us hunting for a related item in a busy picture. After we find the specified item, we spend some time looking at all the other things in the picture as well. Last night's picture included a stack of alphabet blocks displaying the letters F, U and N. Jack rattled off the names of the letters like a pro, even correcting himself when he slipped up on the F. Then we moved on to the sounds that each of the letters make and tried to put them together to read the word.
So I asked, "What sound does F make?"
"Fffff," Jack replied.
"What sound does U make?" I continued.
Jack replied with, "Aaahhh."
"Uh," I corrected.
"Uh," Jack confirmed.
We continued the quiz with a "What sound does N make?" question and an "nnnnnnnn" response.
"Good," I said, "let's put those sounds together: fffffffff-uh-nnnnnnn."
Jack mimicked with, "fffffff....uh....nnnnnnn."
And then together, "ffffffff-uh-nnnnnnn."
"Dolphin?," Jack asked.
"No, ffffffff-uh-nnnnnnn," was my reply.
With full confidence this time, Jack replied, "Dolphin."
"No, listen to the sounds: fffffffff-uh-nnnnnnnn," I corrected.
With exasperation in his voice, Jack replied "Dolphin!"
With a little exasperation of my own I told him, "Jack, the first sound is ffffffff, not duh."
After a brief moment of contemplation, Jack, not quite so sure this time, replied, "Folphin?"
After Sean and I composed* ourselves, Jack and I went round a couple more times until he finally discovered that the word was "fun."
After I had finished tucking Jack into bed, Sean wondered what kind of animal a "folphin" might be (and now, hopefully, you see why the Napoleon Dynamite reference is fitting).
*I fully understand that all parents think their own children's antics are hilarious and I am no exception, so when I say this it is with full knowledge that I have laughed at many many things that may or may not have been funny that Jack has said or done over the last four years: I think this was the hardest I've laughed at something he's said.