3V1120.01 Peggy’s invented games: extensive notes on animal play (2/15/81)
For the past week or more, Peggy and I have played together in a way that appears very important to her. that is, she is really hurt if I am unwilling to play. Last night she was unwilling to stop — without tears — only when I agreed to go up to bed and read ‘Lucky Luke’ to her. Of what does this play consist ?
We sit together in my large chair, my dust cover wrapped about us both to keep warm, and play with Peggy’s toy animals (usually in number between two and six). Peggy usually claims one role and asks me to assume another. She has only rarely taken on more than one role herself (but has done so). The primary element is ‘What do you want to do now, X ?^’ She repeats this distressingly frequently — so much so one of my main challenges has become to push the burden of questions back on her by responding ‘I don’t know, what do YOU want to do ?’ and so forth. I believe this question appears so frequently because the limited number and length of Peggy’s play scripts. Let me try to detail a few of them.
Eating Ice Cream : beginning
1. Let’s eat ice cream. 2. concurrence
1. movements away from and back to 2. no action
second critter, accompanied by a…
typical action word specification :
1. leaning over the ice-cream with 2.. same
dialogue : ‘gobble, gobble….and
Jumping on the Head
Beginning – end : One critter jumps on the head of another accompanied by the sounds /giu/ (gjew).
Going for a Ride
beginning : Peggy plays both roles, the rider can be any critter. The mount is usually one of two horses, the calico (or Blue Mane) but can be any large animal. The rider (1) asks if it can go for a ride. (2) The mount agrees. They bounce about together for a short time.
I ask Peggy ‘What do you want to do now ?’
1. She sneaks her animal up my arm, hides it behind my neck, and giggles.
2. She whips it over the arm of the chair.
3. She secrets it under the dust cover
In each case, my animal wanders about the chair calling for the other. (The game can be played with roles reversed.)