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July 8, 1983

Is She a Spoiled Child?

Author Affiliations

Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound Federal Way, Wash

JAMA. 1983;250(2):188. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340020026026

Christine was 18 months of age and she was always smiling. It was a self-contented smile, interrupted only by laughter, as if she knew something that we didn't.

I was fatigued at having spent most of the night studying for my Board exams. As I sat on the sofa, I tried to muster a threatening voice as Christine climbed over the armrest and into my lap, but I failed.

"She's spoiled rotten," I said jokingly, as I let her have her way once again.

We rambled on in conversation with our friends, and through our discussion Christine listened and smiled, self-assured and satisfied. She ran and walked on tiptoe and rolled about on the floor. We talked about her progress, but she didn't seem to care. She had learned to walk earlier than expected and was almost as tall as her older sister. When she chose to speak she said