3V0111.01 Beginning of the “bathroom-robe incident” (5/13/78)
Peggy now chews on her fist, holding both hands to her mouth. She does not show preference for a thumb, but rather sucks the thumb end of her hand, including the index and middle fingers. She has begun to vocalize extensively, maintaining a continuous noise, frequently in conjunction with chewing on her hands…..
Over the past weeks, Peggy has become obviously very “visual,” looking and looking, trying to absorb everything with her eyes. This morning I carried her into the bathroom, where Bob was in the tub. She fixed her attention on his pajamas and robe hanging from the back of the door. When Bob called her name, she stared fixedly at the clothes, looking for his face (which was in reality only a little to the left). It took repeated calls, plus my shifting her around a bit, before she realized where Bob was. (Gretchen)
What I found most striking was Peggy’s straining to look at the top of the hook, where my head should have been. The aural evidence might have been confused by the funny echoes off the shower wall tiles. She finally found my face after, as her head sagged down, I raised my hand into her visual field, waving it, and gradually drew her gaze to my lower level in the bath tub.
A few days later: Gretchen again brought Peggy while I was on the bath. Sitting on Gretchen’s lap again and oriented to the door, Peggy saw my robe, followed the material up to the hook and back down to level, paused, and slowly turned her head left where she saw me and smiled. After she recognized me, I said , “Hi Peggy,” and waved, returning her smile.