And since that time it is eleven years,
For then she could stand alone. Nay, by the rood,
She could have run and waddled all about,
For even the day before, she broke her brow.
And then my husband—God be with his soul!
He was a merry man—took up the child.
“Yea,” quoth he, “Dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit,
Wilt thou not, Jule?” and, by my holy dame,
The pretty wretch left crying and said “ay.”
The dictionary entry that comes first has this to say about "ay":
The one that says it is a variant of "aye" is third on the list.
Both meanings fit perfectly; the former ("always") is a dash more comical.
Which is it?