The Ruark Kids

Tower of Babble


Siena’s vocabulary has seen a sharp increase in breadth in the past few weeks.

Our pediatrician said at her latest appointment that while we should understand most of what she says, we should expect that others will understand only about 33% of what she says now (or thereabouts), and 50% at age 2, and 75% at age 3, or something like that. Two weeks ago, I would’ve pegged the parental success rate at about 90%. Well, now it’s around 60% again, because Siena has been using a lot of words that are perfectly clear to her, but to which we haven’t yet determined the meaning.

This manifested most memorably one evening at dinner last week where she kept rejecting everything offered to her, and kept asking for something that made no sense to us. Two syllables, maybe a K or a B in there, some vowels. No clue. After trying a bunch of words (Siena, do you want some water? Nooooo. Do you want some raisins? Nooooo.), exasperated I finally said, “Do you want some rice cake?” “Yes…Peas” I don’t know whether she got what she originally wanted or she was just happy with rice cake as an acceptable substitute.

Some of the words we do know that have entered the lexicon recently include:

  • Book
  • Read it
  • Arbor (from a garden alphabet book)
  • Turtle
  • Bunny
  • Bless you (she has said this twice after I’ve sneezed and otherwise entirely unprompted!)
  • Ok

“Bless you” is perhaps the most impressive, since it follows a non-word sound, but “ok” is perhaps the most fun. Basically we say “ok” back and forth to each other very quickly. ok. ok? ok. ok? ok? ok. ok. ok! ok?


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