The “My Baby Cow!” game went on in our family child care program for about 2 years with Maddie–starting when she was about two and going on until she moved away a few days before she turned four.
It went like this:
We had a bunch of plastic animals, including a calf like the one in the above image. If I had the calf, she would demand, “My Baby Cow!” Then I would hide it behind my back, stuff it in my pocket, or hold it just out of her reach, and respond, “No, My Baby Cow!”
She’d toss out a loud, “MY baby cow!” while trying to swipe it from me. I’d respond in a whisper, “my……baby……cow.”
She’d stick her lip out in a fake pout and plead, “my baby cow” with sad-puppy-dog-eyes. I’d smile wide and joyfully sing, “My baby cow.” And on and on and on it would go until one, or both, of us grew distracted or bored.
There were variations to the game. Sometimes she’d start it by running up with the baby cow and stating the cold hard fact that I had to live with, “Jeff, this is my baby cow. Not your baby cow.” Sometimes we played “My Dinosaur”, “My Puppy”, or “My Tasha”. My Tasha was my favorite iteration of the game because it usually resulted in Maddie and I pulling Tasha (my wife) in different directions while she presumably wondered why she was running a family child care program with a toddler-man.