3V0956.01 Meaning more than she can say (9/4/80)
This note documents an incident more remarkable for what Peggy
failed to say that for what she did say: While I was off in Boston,
Miriam had been sitting in my arm chair (one from which I shoo the
children whenever I want to sit there.) It has been Peggy’s habit to
chase the older children away (by claiming I wanted to sit in my chair)
then clambering in herself as soon as they vacated the seat.
(See ____.) In this incident, Peggy was “tattling” (or perhaps just observing)
that Miriam had been sitting in my chair — which still present evidence
— candy wrappers, and her books — made clear. What Peggy said was
more elaborate than “Mimi working …. with you.” I believe she wanted
to say, “Mimi was in your chair, and when I told her to go away she
countered that she was “working,” ie. used your excuse for not playing
with me.” What she said was more like this:
Peggy: “Mimi working..(looks at chair)…with you…with you…Mimi working.”
Bob: Mimi was working in my chair ?
Peggy: Mimi working… with your chair.”
I believe this incident witnesses Peggy with a burden of meaning beyond
her ability of expression. We need be especially sensitive to such
incidents to tell what the limits of her ability are.