The Ruark Kids

What a Day


I was going to write about one of Siena’s language developments, which she exhibited this morning. But then so many different things happened that it turned into quite an exciting, action-packed day.

First, we’ve been working on getting to “yes.” Not in the negotiating-agreement-without-giving-in sense (though lord knows that’ll be coming soon enough), but in having Siena say “yes” when asked a question about what she wants. Normally, the way this works is I go through a litany of things she doesn’t want, each of which merits a “No” answer with a shake of the head–and if the item is particularly distasteful to her, a wave of the hand. Then I get to something she wants, and she usually names it instead of saying “yes.” As in, I’ll say, “Do you want craisins?” and she’ll say “cay yay” or something like that. Then I’ll say slowly while nodding, “yessss,” and she’ll then say “yes” and nod her head.

This morning, as I went to take her out of her crib, she handed me her brown bear (ba boo) and her yellow blanket (ba ba), both of which I set on table next to the rocking chair. As I set her in my lap to get her out of her sleep sack, she pointed at something and said something that sounded like ba-ba, ba-boo, or ba-bee. I showed her brown bear and asked, “Do you want brown bear?” “No.” Then, “Do you want your blanket?” “No.” Then I saw it: “Do you want your Berner pup?” (this being a stuffed animal Bernese Mountain Dog puppy). “Yes.” Hooray! She said yes without being prompted. Needless to say, she got the pup.

That’s more than enough for a single entry, right? Especially by my increasingly low standards…however…

When I picked her up from school, I saw that her lunch box still had a full container of Cheerios. I checked her form, and it said she had eaten no breakfast. That’s not good. At least she ate all her pizza (Tuesday is pizza day at school).

On the way home, I went through my routine of telling Siena who she’d be seeing when we get home. As with the no/yes response, she likes to name the animals (and people) as I call them out. Nalia is often “yaa yaa”, Penny is something like “eh eh.” Today she did something that shows a real conceptual leap for her (or at least, a leap in her demonstration of understanding the concept). Being as we are, we have lots of nicknames for our pets. Consider Penny: Penny, Penster, Furbeast, Pen, Sporkie, Sporkinator. Tenzing has fewer nicknames, mostly just Tenzing and Zinger. Nalia generally is Nalia, Pup-Dog, and Fluffbutt (get behind a Berner to see for yourself).

We’ll pause here for station identificaton and a picture of Siena in the bath last night:


Welcome back. The conversation in the car today went like this (I always try to go in the order in which we see the animals):

Dad: Siena, we’re going to go home and see Nalia.

Siena: Yaa yaa

Dad: And we’re going to see Tenzing.

[long pause]

Siena: Duuuuuu

Dad: [laughing]

You are probably wondering, “When will this end?” “Can we get more pictures?” and, perhaps, “Huh?”

Well, we aren’t to the exhilirating/scary part yet, more pictures in the next post if I can remember, and here’s the deal, respectively.

The real conceptual development is that, as Tenzing and I are the only men in the house (occupied otherwise by four critters of the fairer sex), when he does something that is cuter than it is annoying, I often refer to him as “dude.” I don’t use this as a nickname on purpose when Siena is around, like I do with Penster; it’s more like “Dude, what are you doing?!” (It’s a male bonding thing.) Amazingly, Siena seems to have understood enough to know, either through repetition or sentence structure or tone, that “dude” is another nickname for Tenzing. I find that pretty incredible.

Finally, we discover that mom is also home, which has been a rarity around the house at dinner time because of her rotation schedule the past few months. So I set Siena down and get her coat off, and then she takes a step towards mom, trips on a slipper, and face plants. She’s silent for a moment, and then just starts screaming and screaming. We get her up, and discover that her nose is bleeding. Blood! This is probably the first time she’s really let loose with blood, definitely the first time from the nose, so of course that made the rest of the evening pretty stressful. It wasn’t copious or gushing or anything, but still, for first-time parents with the first-time blood, it can be pretty heart wrenching. It seemed to stop, mostly, during dinner, and she wasn’t at all troubled by it once she got over the mental shock. As usual (and I guess this will be true most of the rest of her childhood if not longer), we were more shook up about it than she was.

She ate very little for dinner, had a quick bath, and went to sleep 10 minutes early.

I hope she’s ok. What a day.


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