"Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." --Helen Keller We all know how tough it is to raise a toddler, but not many people realize how tough it is to BE a toddler. Toddlers feel like they lose all day long! They're weaker, slower, shorter, less verbal, and clumsier than almost everybody. That's why they love stomping in puddles (to make a big splash) and showing off their huge muscles. It's also why they can be so darn stubborn --They just want to win a few! Playing the boob is a silly idea…that's super smart. If you ever pretend you're startled when your child goes "Boo!!" or have a pillow fight and let your tot topple you with each swipe… you've already discovered the great fun of playing the boob! Being able to beat their all-powerful parent at something makes tots laugh and feel clever and strong, and that helps them feel okay about giving in to us about other things -- things we care about! There are lots of wacky ways to play the boob. Here are a few ways I've used for years in my office to boost my little patients' cooperation: Be a bit of a baby. Pretend you want something your toddler has and let her win. Reach out and whine like a baby, saying, "Mine, mine…pleeease!!" Let her easily defy your pitiful request. Act a bit pouty but resigned to the fact that she has got her own way. "Okay okay, you win. You always win." Be blind. Pretend you're searching for something that your tot can see is right next to you. Say, "Book! Book! Where is my book?" When your child giggles and points to it, ham up your search and exclaim, "Where? Where? I don't see it." Then finally listen to her advice and say, "Thanks. You found it! You're a good finder!" Be a klutz. Keep asking your child to hand you a little object (toy or spoon) and keep dropping it. “Uh oh!” “Uh oh!” “Yikes” Then ask her to pick it up again…and you almost hold it but drop it again. Try to put the toy on the edge of the counter, but let it keep dropping. “Oops!” “Oops!” I can’t do it.” Be forgetful. Ask where something is and then a second later say...”Huh?” “What did you say?” “I forgot, what did you say?” Be confident...but wrong. Loudly say the wrong words to Happy Birthday and insist they are right. Be weak. Pretend something light is too heavy. Say with a little grunt and sound of frustration (like you are really trying), “I can’t do it, I can’t do it!” Can you help mommy?" Once you get the knack of it, playing the boob will become your toddler's - and your - all-time, favorite game. And, if you play it 10-20 times a day, you will be rewarded with an immediate rise in cooperation and good spirits.