Are you being teased? Older infants and toddlers love to tease their parents. Have you ever been offered a delicious bite of baby food from your little one, only to find that he has rapidly pulled the spoon back and is giggling? Or does he look at you while he slowly reaches for an off-limit object in his environment, then drops his hand and laughs at you when your eyebrows start going up in disapproval? Has he ever pretended (usually unsuccessfully) to be sleeping and then bounce up with glee when you lean over him to check? What does all of this mean? Well, primarily good things! Your child is learning to predict your reactions to him—and beginning to understand that not everyone thinks exactly like him. These are huge strides for a child who continually experimented with simple cause and effect (remember the high chair-to-floor food experiments?). He is making progress! Children at this age love to play silly games. You can use Scout, Violet or other toys to play games and expand your child’s vocabulary at the same time. Some of these games are similar to the teasing games that your child plays with you. You can pretend to put puppy pal to sleep—but then notice (out loud) that he didn’t shut his eyes! You can ask your child if puppy’s name is “George” or “Sue” or “Pots-and-Pans” and watch your child break into laughter. These games help children develop language skills, including learning new words and syntax (the order of words in sentences). Soon he’ll be able to tease you with a full sentence!