Princess Phonics


Ana, in Wes’s old Smoky the Bear hat

Ana and I recently exchanged more than a few words over — of all things — the way her name is spelled. I should have seen this coming from afar, seeing as how Ana has become Princess Phonics as of late with her catchy songs about all the letters of the alphabet and the various sounds they make. But I was still caught unaware by this conversation…

Ana: Mommy, Ana starts with an O. On-uh. Like that!

Mommy: No, Ana starts with an A. Ahh, Ahh… like… hmm…

Ana: No, A sounds like Aaaa. A, A, Anna!

Mommy: Is Anna your name?

Ana: No! My name is Ana!

Mommy: Yes, Ana with an A.

Ana: It should be an O. On-uh!

And so began a discussion about how the US is the ONLY place in the world where the name Anna is pronounced ANNA and that everywhere else Anna/Ana is pronounced ANA and that we thought about this long and hard before moving to Japan where they don’t even have the language sounds to even say ANNA and how I had always loved the utterly charming Afrikaans pronunciation of Anna which is ANA and that was why when it came time to name her we wanted people to pronounce it ANA and so we spelled it Ana and not Anna and surely not Ona, which would make people call her Own-uh.

Ana: (after this tirade) Ana starts with an O.

Me: I give up, Own-uh.

Only one hundred days in public school, and already she’s smarter than I am. Way to go, Princess Phonics!

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