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3V0278.02 Pipe play: giving as a communication protocol 10/27/78

PIPE PLAY — When sitting in my lap, Peggy frequently ends up with one of my old pipes. (I still carry them about in a shirt pocket and chew on the stem, though I no longer smoke.) These pipes of mine have become a favorite toy of hers. I am only marginally concerned that she may eat a little carbon — but it does make a mess when she chews on the wrong end (her standard practice). I have become accustomed, occasionally taking a pipe from her, to “instruct” her by putting the stem end in my mouth. Playing [in] my lap tonight, Peggy had a different idea — she offered the pipe-stem end of the pipe to me by raising it and poking it close to my mouth. When I took it between my teeth, she laughed then took the pipe back from me.

RELEVANCE — This seems a spontaneous example of play-giving. Its significance is that this sort of game can (and probably will) develop into another kind of social communication ritual. — She has given the pipe to me, and I let her have it back immediately. Will she “turn around” this communication protocol? If I give to her, will she give back?

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