The Ruark Kids

But Not the A-ta-ta-ta


Reading books to Siena has become such a treat, not only because she clearly wants to be read to (the whole grabbing-a-book-and-backing-up-into-your-lap behavior is a dead give away), but also because she has terrific responses to all different aspects of the reading experience. Some are really evolutionary, like seeing a picture of two people kissing (the exact reference escapes me but trust me it isn’t anything steamy) and making her mwah kissing sound. But most are just funny quirks that make us laugh.

Case in point: Sandra Boynton’s But Not the Hippopotamus, which ends happily for the hippo, but not [for] the armadillo. Whenever Siena hears armadillo, she says, “A ta ta ta.” It took us several iterations of this to realize that has the same number of syllables as armadillo (it was difficult because Siena accents the first ta, which is not where the accent is in armadillo). So now I can always get myself a good laugh by saying armadillo to her and getting a-ta-ta-ta back as a response.

We’ve even verified that it is truly an armadillo thing, because serendipitously we discovered there is a “Goodnight, armadillo” line in Peggy Rathmann’s Goodnight Gorilla. Bonus armadillo!


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