Once there was a little girl named Balooga, and she was the most popular girl in her class. Every day, there were always kids who wanted to play with her after school.
Balooga was a very good sharer. When another girl came home with her to play, Balooga always asked her what she wanted to play. Balooga was also a very good payer-attentioner. If the other kid seemed like she wasn't having the best time, Balooga would ask if anything was wrong, or try to figure out what Balooga could do to help.
Balooga's best friend was Moo-la. She and Moo-la could play for hours, sometimes without either of them getting upset even once.
But one day Balooga wasn't feeling very good. She'd had the sniffles all night and didn't sleep very well. She was feeling kind of coldy and hurty and sleepy and whiny when Moo-la came over.
On this day, Balooga definitely felt like playing Maroon Balloon. Moo-la wanted to play Go Fish. Moo-la said, "How about we play Go Fish first, since it's really a short game, and then we play Maroon Balloon?"
Usually, Balooga would have said, "Sure!" Or "Of course!" Or "That sounds perfect!" But today, Balooga didn't feel like saying those things. She just said, "No."
So Moo-la gave in. She was a very good sharer, and a pretty good payer-attentioner herself, and just like Balooga, she liked getting along much better than not getting along. So she said, "Okay, we'll play Maroon Balloon once, and then we'll play Go Fish."
So the two girls played Maroon Balloon once, and Balooga won, and now it was time to play Go Fish. But Balooga said, "How about we play Maroon Balloon just once more?" Because she really didn't feel like playing Go Fish. And Moo-la said, "But I really don't feel like playing Maroon Balloon." So Balooga said, "Well, I'll let you win."
So the two girls played Maroon Balloon again, and you know what? Balooga won.
"You said you were going to let me win," said Moo-la.
"Well, I kind of forgot," said Balooga. But you know, she didn't really forget. She just hadn't felt like letting Moo-la win.
Moo-la sighed. Then she said, "Okay, now it's time to play Go Fish." But Balooga still didn't feel like playing Go Fish. Moo-la said, "Let's put away Maroon Balloon." Balooga said, "You put it away."
Moo-la sighed again. Her friend was being kind of difficult today. But she put away Maroon Balloon. Now it was finally time to play Go Fish.
"I don't want to play Go Fish," whined Balooga.
"But you promised," said Moo-la.
"Go Fish is stupid," said Balooga.
"No, it's not," said Moo-la. Her feelings were really starting to get hurt.
"I want to play Maroon Balloon," said Balooga. "I want to play Maroon Balloon. I WANT TO PLAY MAROON BALLOON!"
"No!" said Moo-la. Her daddy had taught her to share and be nice, but he'd also taught her that sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.
Well, you know what Balooga did? She just started crying. "I want to play Maroon Balloon. I never want to play stupid Go Fish."
Moo-la came over to try to comfort her best friend. She patted her on the back. "Go Fish isn't stupid," she said. "It's fun."
"It's stupid!" screamed Balooga. Yes, now she was screaming. "Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!!"
This is the first half of the unillustrated version of the Cooperative Play book.
Give your child the opportunity to improve a problem behavior!
The poor play date skills page.
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.