Dear Jack: The “What 3 Sounds Can You Make?” Misunderstanding

6 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack: The “What 3 Sounds Can You Make?” Misunderstanding

Dear Jack,

Holly and I were quiet, just minding our own business. You presented Mommy with what appeared to be an engaging, impromptu game, when she heard you ask the question, “Mommy, what three sounds can you make?”

She answered nearly immediately: “I can make a lot of sounds.”

You insisted, “But Mommy, what three sounds can you make?”

Slightly confused, she answered you.

“Ding… dong… ppfffttt.”

You were not pleased nor impressed with her answer. So you repeated the question, “No, Mommy! What three sounds can you make?!”

She followed up with three more noises that didn’t quench your thirst for knowledge either:

“Beep… bop… boing.”

You were getting noticeably upset at this point; frustrated that Mommy was apparently not making the sounds you wanted to hear.

Was it some kind of impossible guessing game? How could Mommy possibly know which three sounds were the right answer?

Or maybe there was some kind of inside joke that Holly nor I were aware of? Maybe Mommy makes three sounds that are funny, and you wanted to hear them again, because no one else was as good at making those sounds?

Things were starting to get tense. So at that point, I asked you to stop playing the game, as I just wanted peace.

“Mommy, U makes three sounds, I can’t remember what they are!”

Then she and I finally realized what you were getting at.

“Oh! You’re asking me which three sounds the letter U can make?” she responded.

What we thought was a playful guessing game was instead you practicing your phonics, outside of school… by choice!

Mommy was able to tell you the three different sounds the letter U makes; like in the words put, truck, and prune.

At last, you were relieved.

You were just a 6 year-old boy trying to privately sort out how the confusing English language works, and your parents weren’t much help.

So next time you appear to engage us in a guessing game, I’ll assume it has something to do with phonics.



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