The Ruark Kids

No means No!


(The title will make sense to exactly one reader, if he remembers it…)

Siena loves the They Might Be Giants’ children’s album, No!, so much so that we pretty much listen to it everyday in the car on the way to school. I remembered yesterday morning that my mp3 player has a feature that will show you the number of times you’ve played a track.

As of yesterday morning, we’d listened to the opening track on No!, “Fibber Island,” 100 times on the nose. As you might guess, I’m pretty sick of it by now.

Usually I ask Siena if she would instead prefer a little Beethoven or Bach. Sometimes I just force that on her, and if she throws a fit (as much as she can while being strapped into her car seat), I’ll turn it off and explain that it’s the classical music or no music.

At one point, I started telling her that her sister will eventually want to listen to music, and it might not be the music Siena wants to listen to, but they will have to take turns. So at least half the time we might not be listening to Siena’s choice of music. I imagine this sounds easy in principle to her, but it will be very tough in practice. She has said on multiple occasions, “My sister will like [another They Might Be Giants’ children’s album] Here Come the A-B-C’s, and I like No!” (The exclamation is part of the album title; she’s not shouting every time.)

This morning, as we were backing out of the driveway, my slow brain finally figured out a good response to her request, which is to always say, “I want No!” I replied (the closest way I can describe my delivery of the following sentence is to tell you to think of the end of Back to the Future when Christopher Lloyd says, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”), “Siena, how about we listen to some Yes?” She replied, “yes.” So Siena got her first treat of “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” and daddy was happy for five minutes. After that it was back to “Fibber Island.”


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