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by Abigail Van Buren

Toddler's Boob Obsession Causes Alarm For Mom

DEAR ABBY: My 2-year-old daughter has recently become boob-obsessed. The first thing she does in the morning is point at my chest and say, "Boobs!" If she hugs me, she tries to grab them. Sometimes I catch her staring at my chest in fascination. I scold her when she grabs at them, but it's disturbing.

I never taught her the word "boob" and feel annoyed that she probably learned it from our sitter. When I spoke to the sitter about it, she laughed and said it's perfectly normal and that a lot of kids are boob-obsessed. But it doesn't seem normal to me, and I'm creeped out.

I have started wearing sweatshirts to keep covered up. My little girl has also started grabbing my butt and lifting up my shirt, and I'm nervous about how she's acting around the sitter and other women in the family. Is this behavior normal? -- CREEPED OUT IN VALENCIA, CALIF.

DEAR CREEPED OUT: Children have been known to act out to get attention. If a parent acts shocked at something the child does or says, the child will repeat the action for its shock value. Because you are concerned that your daughter's behavior isn't normal, the person to discuss this with would be her pediatrician. The doctor can put your fears to rest or alert you if there is something to worry about.

Another thought: Ask your baby sitter to be more circumspect in the language she uses around your child if the word "boob" offends you, because children build their vocabularies repeating the words they hear.

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