I am not certain because of the veil of time, but I suspect that “bow” was the word that introduced me to the concepts of homonyms and homophones. I knew about this kind of bow (for hair**, too), then about bowing before royalty*. I really fought the idea that the same spelling could be pronounced differently, and realized that spelling had just revealed itself to be a can of worms, and, I suspect, nematodes.
Then I found out about “beau” and that it was French, and that may have put me off French for decades.
* Confession: we have finished season two of “The Crown” and are working our way through “Shetland.”
** Not mentioning “hare.” Or vale (first sentence). I realized that spelling was a trap. Still is. Many times people told me that Spanish is spelled the way it sounds. Not so. See: the trap is not only in tricky English.