Phonetically Speaking

The Husband has crawled into bed on the other side of Buttercup to snuggle in for bedtime stories. It's the start to his day and soon he will go downstairs to prep for his midnight shift while I try not to fall asleep while pretending to fall asleep so Buttercup will stop talking to me and well, fall asleep. But for now, we've got a book with words that Buttercup has decided she wants to acknowledge tonight instead of the usual Make Up a New Storyline Based on the Pictures method she seems to favor. "Daddy," she says pointing to the first line, "What's that say?"

He reads the words for her, enunciating in that way only parents and teachers do when reading to a child in the hopes they will learn to pronounce words correctly and, you know, the total opposite of how we actually speak. She follows his finger as he moves it across every word, soaking in the knowledge.

"That words says hat!" She's thrilled. She read that one before Daddy got to it.

"Good job!" He smiles, reads a few more words. Then she stops him and asks what that word is.

"Sound it out," he says.

So she does.

And because the letter A makes the short vowel Aaaah sound and the letter S makes the sssssss sound, it would seem to follow that the sounds together would make the word ass and not the word as. Fuck you, English language. Now please explain to my four-year-old why you revel in being so damned confusing while I bury my head under the pillow to muffle the laughter.