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3V0015.1

3V0015.1 Sheldon Wagner proposes Meltzoff Experiment 2/6/78

Sheldon Wagner called with congratulations on Peggy’s birth today. During a long conversation, he asked if we would be willing to informally try an experiment on infant imitation which seriously refutes Piagetian theory (I found the reference in a back issue of Science: imitation of Facial and Manual Gestures by Human Neonates, Andrew Meltzoff and Keith Moore, 7 Oct. 1977.) Gretchen and I agreed to go ahead and do it. (This means we will do it very soon, maybe hard to get the videotape equipment and a mirror — maybe we shouldn’t get that fancy.)

3V0030.1

3V0030.01 Why we abandoned Meltzoff Experiment; Infant communication 2/21/78; 0;30

Gretchen and I agreed to do Meltzoff’s experiment as requested by Sheldon but later changed our minds. Upon a close reading, I decided the only valid replication of the experiment would require both videotape and the mirror in my office. The only practical way to effect the experiment would be to go to the Logo Lab and do it there. My scenario included a social call to introduce Peggy, perhaps with Sheldon helping in the experiment on the 13th.

This vision of the work was rapidly undercut (perhaps overlaid would be a better word) by the Blizzard of 1978. The 27 inches of snow, clogged courtyard, impassable streets, and driving ban kept us marooned in Brookline through the 14th. Indeed, on the 11th, our situation still looked difficult enough that Robby and I hiked the mile and ahalf to the Star market and back to get staples in preparation for a second storm predicted on Monday the 13th.

The other factor causing abandonment of the experiment was the inhibition its potential was introducing to our interactions with Peggy. Specifically, the problem was this. Gretchen knew the gestures used in the experiment, and having read the article also, knew the claim that the parents were unaware of them. That fact was the basis of excluding one explanation — that the gestures were not rehearsed by parents and baby outside the lab in any biased way. For Gretchen to avoid that sort of rehearsal, even unconsciously performed, would have meant her stifling her communication with Peggy. We both decided this was intolerable for the protracted period our snow bound isolation imposed. The major difficulty is that the parents’ dominant inclination is to establish a communication link with this child. This is attempted naturally by the parent through his imitation of the child’s facial gestures. Since the baby’s repertoire is quite limited, the gestures the parent isolates are those used by the Meltzoff experiment, i.e. any care provider for the baby, attempting to establish communication with the baby would be lead to imitating the baby’s gestures, I believe there is no way to prohibit this cycle of reinforcement though one may, as experimenter, chose to remain ignorant of it by refusing to inform the baby’s parents what is going on. Just because you don’t tell the parents what your experiment is, does not imply you can claim they have not biased it beforehand. This is especially the case where the process involved, adult-baby communication, is central to the social binding which must be established for baby’s to be deemed worth the trouble of caring for and enduring.

Not only Gretchen, but the children and even I, were imitating the baby’s gestures at every turn of our attention to her. By the middle of Peggy’s third week, i.e. the 15th, Gretchen was claiming that Peggy was really smiling at her. By the 20th, I was willing to concur. That is, Peggy was sufficiently socialized to be either responding to some non-obvious cues or to be attempting to manipulate the person holding her when recognized (she smiled at me also, but more often at Gretchen).

A final quibble: how did Meltzoff get those babies to take a pacifier so placidly, to have it popped in and out of their mouth without a considerable objection ? Were all bottle fed and expecting that sort of nipple ? Peggy absolutely refuses a pacifier, even one purportedly in the shape of the human when deformed by sucking. She would take it in her mouth a little, then spit it out after a few seconds. Was this procedure followed at some uniform time in each baby’s feeding cycle ?

A suggestion of Gretchen’s: the “imitation” of facial gestures may be at the same low level of mental processing as the contagion of yawning. (This is analogous to Seymour’s point raised by a discussion in the fall in one of Marvin’s classes when he spoke of unmediated communication between afferent and efferent systems — such is a reasonable perspective if one claims that one comes to build up perceptual recognition by projecting one’s own actions into the perceived situations.) Has anyone ever done adult experiments on the contagion of yawning under experimental situations comparably controlled as is Meltzoff’s ?

3V0040.1


3V0040.01 Showing off Peggy at Logo; sibling reactions 3/3/78; 1;9

Peggy is gradually being introduced at the Logo Lab. On Saturday, the 25th, she, Gretchen, Robby and I trekked over to loan Robby’s camera to Jose Valente — who needed such a one for his project at Fall River. Peggy met Jose and Greg at that time. Yesterday, I took in part of a paper to Seymour — and we took the whole family. And encountered Danny, Hal, Glen, Seymour, Gordon Oro, Gary Drescher.

Within the past week Peggy has become much more alert generally and in far better control of herself that before. This appeared in several ways at once! She now travels around in her crib, she prefers to be carried on the chest and looking over the shoulder to being held by arms in the feeding position, when in the infant seat, she readily turns her head to follow peoples’ movements where last week she did not do so.

Miriam has tried playing with but is getting frustrated by having too little feedback. Robby has said that he hopes any other child we have will be female “because I like having little girls around.” I interpret this as a hope to preserve his specialness as a son. But Robby some times feels threatened/overwhelmed at the thought of so many girls and says he would prefer a brother

4/23 Gretchen made additional margin notes on Peggy not wanting to feed in the middle of the night.

3V0092.1

3V0092.01 Visually tracking a conversation (4/24/78)

On 4/24/78 We went to visit the Clamans (and Peggy received the rabbit mentioned above). After the usual greetings and milling around, the children disappeared in the basement to watch baseball and the adults settled to talk in the living room. I sat on the couch with Priscilla, holding Peggy seated in my lap. Bob and Vic sat in chairs across the room, one on each side of the fireplace. Peggy began scanning this novel scene, her head moving from Priscilla on the left to bob in the center to Vic at the right and back again, pausing perhaps half a second to eye each person. she performed this back and forth viewing cycle continuously for a period of several minutes.
G.

3V0094.1

3V0094.01 Grasping: not releasing an object (4/26/78)

While Gretchen was in the bath, Peggy played in my lap. After changing her diaper, I placed her on the bed between a set of pillows and arranged around her some toys. A musical lamb (a gift from the DiSessas), a clown doll (a gift from Miriam), and a fuzzy rabbit (a gift from the Clamans). Recalling that Peggy has been grasping objects consistently, I brought her a circular rattle (a gift from the Schoemans) about five inches in diameter with 3 large lady bugs on the perimeter.
I put the rattle in Peggy’s hand, closing her fingers around a part of the perimeter to see what she would do with it. Peggy was absorbed by this thing in her hand: she looked from one lady bug to another (about half a second at each) in a circular pattern, counter clockwise; this was obvious from the gross movements of her head. After bringing her right hand to her mouth, she tried to bring her left hand, but it was encumbered by the rattle. Peggy’s tongue hung out as much as an inch while she brought the rattle under her face, but she couldn’t lift hand and rattle. After disengaging her hand from the rattle, Peggy put it straight away in her mouth. Later, she put her mouth down on the rattle.
It is not possible to judge whether this was accidental (tired neck muscles) or intentional. After doing so, she returned to her own left hand.

3V0111.1

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.

3V0112.1

3V0112.01 Edie Priemer and “Here comes Charlie” 05/14/78

My mother came to visit the first week in May. She and Peggy got along very well, and she managed to amuse Peggy for considerable periods by a new game, “Clap hands, Here comes Charlie,” [chanted or sung (tune vague) three times, with action at “clap hands” – now!] The last, drawn out, with hands raised. Peggy thought this was great fun. A variation involves the presence of a small, furry teddy bear, a new present from G.G.. (Bob’s grandmother). He is hidden until the “Now!” and then he pops out onto Peggy’s lap (gently, otherwise she is too startled). It appears that his name will be Charlie. Peggy makes efforts to grasp and hold Charlie, sometimes trying to nibble his ear.
G.

3V0123.1

3V0123.01 Mimi Sinclair; Meltzoff move (5/25/78)

Yesterday Peggy came as Gretchen and I went to MIT to hear Mimi [Sinclair] speak on language and pre-linguistic development. Peggy put on a good smiling show for every one looking at her & was generally quite well behaved. She let out a few squawks during the lecture but was distracted enough by Gretchen not to be a nuisance. Before the lecture, we had introduced Peggy to Mimi and she told us not to be upset if Peggy made a little noise, only to take her out if she made a lot of noise. Mimi stuck out her tongue at Peggy, who immediately responded in kind, then “You imitate already. You’re not supposed to do that yet.”

3V0123.2

3V0123.02 Videotape Series Beginnings 05/25/78

Peggy was 4 months old on Tuesday. I’ve thought of starting a videotape series on Peggy’s development — to begin at 4 months — but don’t really know what to do. I would buy the tape and begin this early — partly to keep for my own memory a sense of what Peggy is like as a baby.
Bob

3V0125.2

3V0125.02 Grasping and sucking “foreign” cloth material (5/27/78)

Over the past several days, Peggy has shown a persistent inclination to grasp cloth and put it in her mouth. It began with the diaper we keep nearby to contain her slobbering. Gretchen noted a few days ago that Peggy grasped as her drool diaper, pulled it up and stuffed a corner in her mouth. She made sucking noises and gave Gretchen a big smile indicating she was quite pleased (I am inclined to over-interpret this incident as a first joke, i.e. Peggy pretending she id feeding and smiling at Gretchen because she is not feeding). Two days ago, when sat up to burp, she persisted in grasping the material of Gretchen’s blouse and pulling it to her mouth. she now appears to prefer that to the breast and would only feed when she couldn’t reach the blouse. Yesterday while bouncing in my lap, she was very dogged in trying to grasp and pull the shirt jacket I wore. When she cold not loosen the material from my left arm, she tried the right. finally, at the table, again sitting up to burp, she first reached out for the table cloth and, failing, then tried to bring her mouth over to the table.

Chewing on cloth is not new for Peggy. for months now, Gretchen has found the sleeve of her sleeper wet in the morning. What is so striking is this apparent explosion of interest in “foreign” cloth as a new universe of suckable material.

3V0125.3

3V0125.03 Expecting a TV game on a display (5/27/78)

Last Saturday (5/27), bob came back from Radio Shack with a TV game for the children. It has been attached to the TV in Miriam’s room. Since the weather over the weekend was quite warm, I occasionally fed Peggy in that room to enjoy the coolness produced by the air-conditioner. the children would at times be playing with the TV game. Tuesday afternoon, I took Peggy in there to nurse, and as I settled down in the chair, Peggy turned her head towards the TV (which was not on) to see if there was a game going.

3V0125.4

3V0125.04 Gradual advances in time of a response: 4;4 (5/27/78)

I have mentioned that Peggy does not cry in the morning. Usually I will go to her when I begin to hear her move around, so often I find her doing press ups. When I lean over the crib and call her name, Peggy looks around until she locates my face and then gives me a big smile. Yesterday she was still lying with her cheek on the mattress (facing out from the wall) and her eyes closed. At the sound of my voice, she immediately opened her eyes and smiled. (The smiles appear more quickly than they used to — less time appears to be required to find me).

Carrying Peggy out of the bed room this morning after changing her diaper, I said something endearing to her, and she smiled in response. However, her mouth was already full of fist, so that her smile consisted of a tightening of the cheeks (observable from above whenever she smiles) and a wrinkling up of the nose.

3V0126.1

3V0126.01 Nursing: socialization and vocalizations; “owl cup” fascination 05/28/78

text needs to be recovered from earlier documents

3V0127.1

3V0127.01 Grabbing and sucking an extended finger (5/29/78)

Monday (5/29) we were preparing to make our first videotape of Peggy at 18 weeks. she sat in her chair while Bob got the camera set up and observed the effects on the bedroom TV. I came over to investigate and held out a finger to Peggy. She reached for it, grasped it, and almost immediately conveyed it to her mouth where she sucked on my finger and as much of her hand as would fit.

3V0131.1

3V0131.01 Peggy’s technique for eating cereal (a problem solved) (6/02/78)

Yesterday I observed Peggy had a fully developed technique for coping with her cereal. She sat in her chair with a fist in her mouth. when a spoonful of cereal approached, she removed her hand, keeping her mouth open wide until the food was inside. She then closed her mouth somewhat and inserted a few fingers. Sucking on the fingers performed the double function of drawing the cereal into her mouth and preventing its being pushed out by the actions of her tongue. She followed this routine until all the cereal was gone.

Two days ago, in the evening, I was nursing Peggy. At one point (after the shift from one side to the other) she was lying cradled in my arms, upper arm plucking at my clothes, blissfully sucking, but not on me ! She had all the fingers of her under-arm-hand in her mouth and seemed perfectly content.

3V0138.1

3V0138.01 More on heads and faces (see note #9) (6/09/78)

About a week ago I carried Peggy to the bathroom while Gretchen was in the tub. Motioning to Gretchen to be quiet, I sat on the toilet seat – directly across from Gretchen’s robe hung on the door hook. Peggy scanned up to the top and down once, then started turning her head right, toward the window. She was interrupted by Gretchen calling her name and immediately rotated her head left toward the tub and voice. When a few days later, we entered the same scenario, Peggy looked first at Gretchen’s robe, then turned her head left immediately toward the tub where Gretchen sat silent (until Peggy saw her).

3V0138.2

3V0138.02 Grasping and the Teething Jack (6/09/78)

Laying on her stomach on the floor (with a spread out sleeping bag under her), Peggy’s world of mouthable things is limited to her reach. She extended her right arm and grasped, slowly and with readily apparent difficulty, a knob on one arm of the jack. since she supported her chest and head by leaning on her arm, even though she had grasped the jack, she could not bring it to her mouth. Obviously frustrated, crying, she eventually brought her left hand over to another (the opposite) arm of the jack and grasped. She could still not pull it back to her mouth – she had it firmly grasped with her right hand !. when she let go, Peggy brought the jack toward her mouth and got a knob on one end into it, But the placement had another one poking her in the neck and this hurt her whenever she let her head droop. Poor baby. I rescued her quickly. Is this more perspicuously described by Minsky’s C-germ or is it stepwise anchoring with variation

3V0138.3

3V0138.03 Siblings Playing with Robby and Miriam: 6/9/78, 4, 18

text recovery needed for this vignette

3V0143.1

3V0143.01 Finger sucking game — an elaboration (6/14/78)

While videotaping Peggy at 20 Weeks, I noticed the second lower center tooth coming in.
For quite some time we have had a sort of game, wherein I would try to pounce on her hand with my mouth, going “Aumh” (a “seizing” noise) Two days ago, as I held Peggy, she waved an arm and accidentally brought her hand in contact with my mouth. I opened it and sucked gently on two of her fingers. Peggy thought this was very funny. Several times in succession she offered me her fingers to suck, each time laughing with delight. Yesterday, she expanded upon the game. After offering her fingers to be sucked, she gradually drew close to her own mouth, then firmly removed her fingers from mine and immediately put them in her mouth. But after a short time, only a second or so, she removed her fingers and again offered them to me. This sequence was repeated four or five times.

3V0148.1

3V0148.01 Peggy rolled over (and again two days later) (6/19/78)

Peggy rolled over just now (from front to back) and I missed it ! She had awoken from a nap on the floor (sleeping bag spread out). I heard a cry, looked over to hear, and she was lying on her back.
6/21/78 Again !

3V0154.1

3V0154.01 Movement: body awareness and relocating an object (6/25/78)

For the first time I saw Peggy rise onto her hands and knees. (Gretchen remarks she saw her do so yesterday). A second kind of mobility Peggy has gained is rotational, e.g. she flails with all four limbs and makes a little progress at turning. She not only turns in her crib now, but even puts this turning to good use. Thus, when in the past she misplaced some toy beyond her visual field, she now can move herself to re-locate it. The example sparking the observation is this: Many times the past few weeks I have seen Peggy with a teething ring grasped in her hand end in this position — lying on her stomach with her arm, hand and teething ring at her side. She most frequently dropped the teething ring and cried, bringing the hand that held it to her mouth and not locating the ring again. Today, she was able to find the teething ring after dropping it. Peggy, after bringing the hand to her mouth, raised herself up on both hands, turned a little, looked back and saw the teething ring, then reached for it. (I don;t recall that she actually picked it up.) This accidental (?) relocation is an important incident as an example of how body geometry begins to extend from the visual field.

3V0156.1

3V0156.01 Peggy has discovered her feet (cf. note #32) (6/27/78)

Peggy not only discovered her feet, she is exploring them. Today I saw her holding a foot with one hand and playing with her toes with the other hand.

3V0179.3

3V0179.03 Splashing in the bath 07/20/78

Whenever she has a bath, Peggy kicks vigorously and with great concentration, watching the splashing she creates.

3V0180.1

3V0180.01 At the beach (7/22/78 )

Yesterday, Miriam, Peggy and I went down to the beach. I took Peggy to the water and held her about knee deep (her knees, not mine). When I moved her into deeper water, so that she was up to her hips, she kicked as she does in the bathtub, but without so much splashing. She enjoyed being swung back and forth so that her feet grazed the water at the bottom of the swing.

3V0180.2

3V0180.02 Playing “Peek a boo” begins (7/22/78)

Last night dinner was late, and Peggy was already fed in her seat. As we were not paying much attention to her, she amused herself by playing with the damp washcloth I had used to clean of her face, hand, stomach, and her legs after feeding. She chewed on it and dropped it over the top of her head, holding on to it with both hands. this morning, she was playing with a diaper in similar fashion while sitting in my lap. Bob was seated about three feet away. Peggy draped the diaper over her head so that it covered her eyes. After a few seconds, she grasped the diaper with both hands and lowered it to neck level, then looked at Bob and laughed. She did this three or four times in succession – a genuine game of peek a boo all on her own. Bob joined the game by asking “Where’s Peggy?” when she covered her eyes, and crying “There she is!” when she removed the diaper.

3V0180.6

3V0180.06 Surfaces. Precursor to the object concept:
later development from “surface fascination” of early infancy 07/22/78

This afternoon, I tried to jollify Peggy while Gretchen and the older children went to the beach. We played for 20 minutes or more. I was interested in seeing how well Peggy could sit up. With my lap horizontal, she most frequently and quickly fell flat on her face. As I inclined my lap a little she became able to balance in a “sitting” position. During this time, Peggy’s interest was quite different from mine. She was trying to pluck away my belt from my clothes. She focused on this task for at least 10 minutes. When I attempted to distract her with the favorite teething ring, she plucked at the belt with the teether in hand (the white rubber, multi-nipple ring), appearing to pry at the belt with the teether. What do I make of this activity?

I see this as a physical verification of a figure/ground distinction. the inch-and-a-half brown leather belt was set off against a white T- shirt and gray and red plaid pants. The brass buckle was obvious also. If it appeared so obviously distinct to Peggy, should not she have been puzzled that it would not come away at her tugging? The long duration of her interest testifies that there was something in this situation which engages an issue she is working on. Could this have been puzzling as a potential counter-example to a strong “separate object” hypothesis? I believe so and see this issue as pointing forward to the development of the object concept and backwards to the surface-scratching, flower- pattern-plucking activities observed previously.

I interrupted Peggy by turning her away from me, still on my lap. She reached out toward the chair arm. I played “peek-a-boo” with the chair arm by draping a diaper over and covering it. Peggy reached out, plucked off the diaper, dropped it, then proceeded with her examination of the chair arm, which has both wooden and material (integral) parts.

Finally I returned Peggy to upright sitting in my lap. When she again started working on the belt, I undid the buckle. She brought the long leather end to her mouth and chewed on it longer than I liked (did the tanning leave chemical residues that would be bad for her?)

3V0189.1

3V0189.01 Rolling Over (7/30/78)

This past week we have not observed Peggy’s intensive chatter in positions other than on her back in the morning or in her infant seat at feeding time — until just now. Peggy is lying babbling on her stomach. How she got there is a small tale in itself.
After being fed, Peggy was left alone on the bed while Gretchen went to bathe. I played with her, as she lay on her back — babbling and playing with her toes. when she made noises of the kind that usually precede spitting out just eaten milk I sat her up, patting her back, then folded behind her one of the pillows which prevented her from falling off the bed. Peggy “sat up” — showing a persistent tendency to fall on one side. As I propped her up with a hairy arm, she began plucking at the hair and her back slipped down from the pillow. This put her in a clearly uncomfortable position. She began pushing with her legs — the move of her on-the-back-accidental crawl … the result I ascribe to an attempt to escape a wet diaper while rolled on her back. Then came Peggy’s big surprise. As she kicked hard with her left foot, she rolled over her right side onto my arm (she had been leaning much in that direction). Peggy looked quite surprised. she showed a big smile right after her look of surprise.

Peggy has learned to live with accidentally rolling on her back — after first reacting with frustration after doing so (and perhaps fright), she managed eventually to entertain herself by playing with her feet and babbling. I conclude from her early reactions that rolling on her back was one of those defeats, and an important one, to which the growing infant is frequently subject. This incident marks the first indication that rolling over is a reversible operation through an autonomous action.
When I left Peggy on the bed — on her stomach — while writing these notes, I set her looking out the glass doors of our second storey balcony because Peggy has much enjoyed looking at the play of light on moving leaves. I sat on the far side of the room. when I left her vision field, Peggy cried and I remember say a few phrases trying to console her. Then I fell silent. After looking out the window a little, Peggy began a conversation. /aeh..aeh/ (remember that she couldn’t see me). when I imitated her, she broke into a big smile and tried to turn in my direction (I believe she still did not see me). Peggy and I continued talking this way for a while, after which she let her head down and began her current plosive dominated babbling repertoire.
I consider this incident as significant because it shows Peggy using even her small command of language in a social/functional way. She is not crying to get a response, she is using language — the social means for action at a distance [and even out of sight].

Where did this verbal turn taking originate ? Let’s say it began through Robby’s “entertaining” Peggy — which he did by making long strings of varieties of sounds — to which she responded with fascination. It continued with all of our imitations of Peggy’s noises — in what I see as our attempt to establish just this sort of communication with her [doing so massively reinforces of early imputation of personhood to her].

A second specific and probably very important source has been Peggy’s socializing at feeding time. Peggy frequently interrupts her feeding to draw back from the breast and to smile at Gretchen. Although this distresses Gretchen when her milk has first let down, later on in a typical feeding the both have enjoyed the smiling and Gretchen’s imitation of Peggy’s noises. How long has this been going on ? Perhaps Gretchen can recall precisely. A second index of the feeding socialization is Peggy’s distractibility at feeding. How long has it been now that Peggy stops feeding and looks at the speaker when anyone addresses Gretchen.

3V0200.1

3V0200.01 Lack of discrimination; debugging habitual actions; roots of self awareness 8/10

Gretchen recalls with certainty that Peggy began rearing back during feeding as early as during the second month.

Before the last videotape session (on 8/6/78), I observed Peggy playing simultaneously a foot and her ladybug rattle. Most striking was her bringing both objects (foot and rattle) to her mouth at one time — where they competed for entry and got in each other’s way. This sort of conjunction offers the accidental opportunity for insertion to use [?] as an observation. Hoping to capture this occurrence, in P 28 I gave Peggy both her familiar teething ring (the circular ladybug) and the set of three sticks. I segregated the sticks from the other objects of the set so there would be less clutter and distraction.

3V0200.2

3V0200.02 Increasing Mobility 8/10

Peggy’s mobility is rapidly increasing. When on her stomach, she has good success at rotation on her belly, pulling her hands in the direction of some desired object by grasping the material of whatever surface she is on. Her accidental “on-the-back-crawl” continues. She has not yet rolled onto her stomach from her back, but she is within a breath of doing so. (The situation is one of reaching out to explore with her hands, e.g. scratching the wood grained surface of our bed’s headboard.) If she wriggles forward on her stomach, it is accidental. Trying hard to reach for objects beyond her grasp, her wriggling may bring her forward or the flailing may just as likely knock it away. (Miriam is now playing with Peggy, giving her advice on rolling over.)

3V0200.4

3V0200.04 Debugging: let go before grasping. 8/10

During reviews of past videotapes (P 28 and earlier) Gretchen has remarked that when Peggy knocks a desired object with one in her hand already, or reaches for a desired object with another still grasped in the reaching hand, it appears she may be trying to “rake in” the remoter desired object. Could this be true? An incident a few days ago (3 or 4) gives evidence on that question and also exemplifies a rudimentary problem solution. We, Gretchen, Peggy and I, sat at table. As our lunch went on Peggy mouthed her disk-shaped teething ring, holding it in her right hand. Peggy began reaching a teething biscuit while Gretchen removed the paper and when it was held within her reach she reached out to grasp it with her right hand — but the hand was still holding the disk-shaped teething ring. Still grasping the disk after a few bumps, Peggy then reached across her body and grasped the biscuit with her left hand. Gretchen let go. Peggy let go of the disk, grasped the biscuit in both hands and brought it to her mouth.

3V0201.1

3V0201.01 Rolling Over.(8/11/78)

When Peggy rolls from her back to her side now, it is typical that her pelvis goes all the way over as if she were going to roll onto her stomach. The impediment to that is her arm which is most frequently outstretched. As often as not, the hand of that arm is brought back to her mouth.

3V0204.1

3V0204.01 Ring Tower Toy: beginning of “putting on” sequence (8/14/78)

Peggy received a ring-tower toy as a present at her birth. She has not played with it before today (Note however that Peggy played with similar rings from a different set in the earliest videotape of her playing.) The toy looks like this: (diagram; rings in decreasing size: purple blue green yellow orange red). I had wanted to introduce this toy to Peggy during our next videotape session, but Gretchen gave it to Peggy this morning. The purple ring was loose its hole is so small as to lock the others on the shaft when it is tightly in place.) Both the purple and blue rings fell off when Peggy first reached out for the toy. She chewed on them for a while then, drawing the stack to her she lifted off the green and yellow rings from the shaft. After scattering the separated rings about the bed, Peggy lifted off the orange and red rings. She brought each to her mouth in turn, and then the now empty shaft.

Why is this observation of interest ? It is less an observation in itself than as a beginning for a specific investigation of how Peggy’s interest in penetrations develops. This toy will not be used as it is because the shaft is tapered and the necessary ordering of rings would complicate too much the initial experiments with “putting-on” rings to the shaft. Thereafter, when Peggy has done so and shows she is engaged with doing so, the tapered shaft will be replaced. thus she will confront a new problem and we will explore how she goes about working out the problem.

3V0204.2

3V0204.02 Robby, Miriam play with Peggy; object permanence data (8/14/78)

The second group of interesting observations with the toy focus on my first observations of Peggy’s crawling. Gretchen has remarked on Peggy’s ‘falling sideways’ and thereby going forward a little over the past few days. Today;s behavior was a clear extension of what may have been chance advances into a directed and repeated series of specific actions for accomplishing an obvious objective.
A little reviewing before description. Robby has given Peggy demonstrations of how to crawl. Yesterday Miriam was giving Peggy direct instruction in how to crawl by what is best called “shaping”. Miriam set the clown on the floor beyond Peggy’s reach from her belly based position then lifted Peggy’s hips high as Peggy flailed with her legs, so the legs came up under the hips. Miriam let her go and make [sic] encouraging noises as Peggy fell over and a little forward. Miriam repeated this a second time and pushed the clown to Peggy;s grasping hands at her second forward fall.

Today, on the bed in a field of scattered rings, when all had been knocked out of her reach, Peggy set out to get the purple, green, and red rings – a goo six inches beyond her. It could be no clear(er) that Peggy wanted the rings. She reached out toward them and cried when they were not accessible. Peggy pushed her hips up, falling forward and sideways at least half a dozen times as she reached out for and focused on the rings. She did get the purple and red rings but the green escaped her. Peggy gave up on the green ring and dropped the red. She rotated on her stomach and started to go after the orange ring with the purple ring still in her hand. Peggy intermittently reached for the orange ring and failing, brought the purple ring to her mouth. She reached with one hand as the other – when reaching with her right hand, holding the purple ring, she knocked the other ring away, but did not stop reaching for the orange ring with that hand. The ring was escaping faster than her progress. this activity all took place on an unmade bed where a crumpled sheet lay alongside the path between Peggy and the orange ring. Peggy pulled HARD on the sheet several times (but the ring did not move – begin on a separate undersheet) then pulled the loose sheet to her mouth. Is this an accident ? Or is it a good trick Peggy has already mastered for drawing to her things beyond her reach ?

When Peggy finally began crying over her failure, I placed the orange ring on a different part of the bed, on Peggy’s other side at the outer periphery of her reach. In her first attempt to get it, Peggy pulled on the bed sheet (the undersheet, on which she lay and which was not moveable as the over sheet was). Next, she reached with her hand. when she hit the orange ring, it flipped over the near edge and came within easy reach. When she finally grasped the orange ring, Peggy ended her excursions by rolling onto her back.

My conclusions from these observations are that Peggy does not take account in her reaching of whether she already has some object in her hand; she knows that some surfaces are separable from their substrate and can be manipulated — but she doesn’t yet realize that to access a desired object by pulling at a surface that object MUST be on the surface; the second attempt to get the orange ring b y pulling the fixed sheet indicates why this may not be so easy to figure out as one would first imagine.

3V0215.1

3V0215.01 Rolling Over: pulling object on a cloth (8/25/78)

Peggy has been working on rolling over back to front. Whereas earlier I would put her on her stomach and find her on her back, now it is the other way round. She seems to show a preference for being her belly (perhaps because of the greater mobility). The first few times she rolled over was in her crib, while I was doing other things (such as filling her bath or rinsing diapers), and I could only observe the fait accompli. It was never clear whether or not she pushed against the crib bumpers to achieve this. Perhaps a week ago she and I were on our bed playing, and I placed a toy at her shoulder level out to the side. As she reached over for it, she naturally began to roll over. Her hips came over, very deliberately and slowly (with obvious control) she performed the last twist that brought her firmly on her belly. (So far, she has always gone in one direction, to her left). I noticed yesterday that now as she rolls over, the upper part of her body is supported on her elbow, so that she can pivot rather than being flat on the surface and hindered by that lower arm’s being trapped. Her mobility now is such that it is dangerous to leave her unattended ever. For quite a while she has had rotational mobility (on her belly); she has also had a limited linear movement obtained by being on her back, drawing up her legs, arching her back, and pushing herself along. On Sunday (8/20/78) we wished to videotape an action we both had separately observed – Peggy pulling on a surface covering (such as a sheet) in order to obtain an object thereon that was out of reach. I saw her do this the previous day, Saturday; to et a toy on the bed she pulled at the sheet). Instead, Peggy preferred to crawl towards the object, pulling herself along with her arms. Today I observed her pushing herself along with alternative foot/leg motions coordinated with the pulling of the arms. Her crawling still seems new and inefficient, but she still can cover an amazing amount of territory.

Peggy has just been introduced to a cup. She seems eager to grab it and “drink” from it, but she also wants to play and wave it around, and she is just as likely to “drink” from the top rim as the bottom.

3V0216.1

3V0216.01 Object Permanence: Miriam’s Peek a boo game with toys (8/26/78)

Miriam is playing with Peggy on the bed. She hid Peggy’s rattle (shaped like a little girl), remarking that Peggy didn’t know where it was, but that when part of the rattle showed Peggy reached and uncovered the rest. “How much was showing ? What could she see ? “The head,” Miriam replied and an instant later, Miriam and the rattle were lying together under the covers with just their heads showing. As Miriam had placed the rattle by her and drew up the covers, Peggy reached for it. She knew it was there and was interested in it. Miriam then covered the head of the rattle (as in the game of peek a boo). Peggy instantly reached over and uncovered the rattle.

3V0216.2

3V0216.02 Social context of learning (8/26/78)

Relevance: I see this example as an outstanding example of how a child could discover ideas such as object permanence in a most incremental fashion in the midst of social situations — especially in children’s play with each other. when the older child draws out a simple situation to keep a baby doing something more interesting than mouthing everything in reach, that child will play with what the baby desires and pushing at the boundaries of the baby’s ignorance — so the baby may be surprised and delighted — but babies learn quickly and can’t be surprised the same way forever.

This is an example of intrusive, socially driven learning. The perspective in which this is seen as important agrees then that learning in a social situation is most affected by the quality of the play. Having people around is not what’s important. Hugging the baby is not the factor that directly promotes learning. the active/interactive play where the more learned uses his understanding of the less learned’s knowledge prods the less learned kid into situations where insights are likely to occur.

3V0216.3

3V0216.03 Experimental and Natural Life for the Child 8/26

In the videotape session P 30 (8/20), we introduced Peggy to new toys — blocks, the ring tower (modified so that no order constraint exists, i.e. the conical pole was removed and replaced with a straight stick onto which the rings fit in any order). Earlier Gretchen had said she felt Peggy needed more toys to play with — at first because Peggy enjoyed her bath and Gretchen felt she would enjoy having toys float around with her. (She does — but has trouble grasping them). When I asked that we introduce more toys in P 30, Gretchen agreed to wait till then after being assured that we were not raising Peggy in some Piagetian analog of the Skinner box.

3V0216.4

3V0216.04 Robby Pretending to Speak for Dapper Dan;
Peggy talking to toys and Scurry

One of the toys not shown on videotape is Dapper Dan — a baby-size cloth doll. After the session, I propped Dapper Dan in the corner of Peggy’s playpen and left her with the two older children reading in the library. From my reading alcove, upstairs I heard a conversation going on. Robby “hid” outside the playpen behind Dapper Dan. When Peggy started talking to Dapper Dan, he responded in the appropriate turn. After a while this lost interest for him. Over following days, Peggy addressed Dapper Dan on occasion and received no response and has stopped doing so (recall she also used to address Scurry with the same expectation).

Can we figure out some simple experiment which will permit us to determine how Peggy classifies things into speakers and non-speakers (or interactors and non-interactors)?

3V0216.5

3V0216.05 Putting On 8/26

One of my interests in observing Peggy’s play with the ring tower is to see when (and how) her interest in putting-into (e.g. the pole into her mouth) expands the putting-onto (the hole of the rings functioning then like a newly separated mouth analog). Thus far Peggy has not put a ring on the pole. Over the past several days I have seen her several times strike the top of the pole with a ring. I can’t tell whether this is a not-letting-go bug in her attempt to grab the pole or a bona fide but failing attempt to put the ring on the pole. One difficulty may be that the pole has a rocking base and requires a specific effort to hold it still enough to [put] a ring on. — Maybe I can change that.

3V0216.6

3V0216.06 Siblings and Play 8/26/78;

The rings clearly “belong” on the pole (of the Ring Tower Toy”). Peggy has several times been present with the toy so assembled. Further, yesterday she saw Robby start a game of ring toy while he played on the floor with her. I believe this is a first exhibit of them being “put on.”

3V0221.1

3V0221.01 Peggy at the Beach: 8/31/78;

The older children have been going down to the beach just about every afternoon, weather permitting. Since they cannot go alone (not good enough swimmers) I accompany them to keep an eye on them. Usually Peggy comes with us. We walk down, Peggy in the stroller and spread out a towel on which to sit. Soon Peggy begins showing interest in the sand. At first, she grasped a fistful and put it in her mouth, necessitating a cleaning and brushing off. Thereafter, she only ran her hands over and through the sand, grasping a fistful occasionally and it a good hand look (?). She has not really tried to eat any more, and I have said “No” whenever she appeared to be on the verge of putting sand in her mouth. Likewise, I have tried to wipe the sand off before she puts fingers in her mouth to suck. She seems to be very interested in the sand, perhaps because it is solid under her, yet the surface is not smooth (unless made so) nor inviolate — she can pick up pieces. This is another instance of her interest in surfaces and what is part thereof, what can or cannot be removed.

3V0221.2

3V0221.02 Peggy Following Gretchen’s Pointing to a Mirror: 8/31/78;

A couple days ago I was upstairs in the hall about 5-6 feet away from the mirror with Peggy in my arms. We faced the mirror, but Peg’s attention was on something (such as her toes) and she did not notice the reflection. I said, “Look Peggy, look at the mirror.” and lifted one arm up to point at it. Peggy’s head moved as her eyes followed my hands, then along the point. Her face lit up in a smile as she saw our reflection.

3V0221.3

3V0221.03 Putting On (8/31/78)

Two days ago, the peg came out of the ring tower and instead of replacing it, I cut a hole through the bottom of the base and inserted the peg from that side. Now the effective bottom of the base is flat and the peg will not rock out of the vertical as Peg tries to mount a ring on it. since the repair, I have watch Peggy play with the toy several times. Thus far, she has not succeeded in mounting a ring on the peg. [She just now missed with the blue ring — crawling at least six inches to the peg, she reached out directly with the ring for the top of the peg.; The peg hit her hand and the ring did not go on. Is she trying to put it on and failing ? Or is she reaching for the peg without considering that her hand is already occupied ?] Several times, Peggy has approached the vertical peg and immediately struck the top with the ring in her hand. I would impute to her a motive of “putting on,” but I can not really tell.

3V0221.4

3V0221.04 Peggy Discovers an Inside (8/31/78)

Just now, we played on the bed after Peggy’s feeding. She crawled up to the headboard — fascinated both because of the wood grain and scroll work. She reached for and pulled a knob on the drawer of an adjacent small table. The drawer came open a few inches ! Peggy raised herself up and discovered (for the first time) an INSIDE. This wooden thing not only came apart with pulling, but also contained restaurant take-out menus, a tire patching kit, and some small pieces of paper, all of which could be moved by her hand’s insertion inside the drawer. Peggy was clearly delighted with the discovery and frustrated that her mouth could not explore what her eyes saw. She did manage to extract one small piece of paper and put it in her mouth. Eventually, her leaning on the drawer to reach inside led to its closing.

3V0221.5

3V0221.05 Rolling Objects (8/31/78)

Down on the floor afterwards, playing with the ring tower, the purple ring escaped her in such a way as to roll across the floor — a good four feet, Peggy was quite surprised (so the look on her face testified). Gretchen tried to toss it back, but the ring landed on its side and rolled around the floor. within a few minutes, I observed Peggy lifting her lady bug ring and throwing it (a distance greater than its diameter) crawling to get it and throwing again. She may also have been trying to throw the rings, but that is less certain. Surely, though, she hit them on the perimeter and made them jump, as she discovered how some weeks ago.

3V0221.6

3V0221.06 Putting People Inside Boats (8/31/78)

Another “inside” oriented play with a boat and two toy men, all both toys. After a morning bath, Peggy has appeared to be trying to put the men into the boat but has not yet succeeded.

3V0225.1

3V0225.01 Introducing Books. 9/04

A few days ago Miriam and Peggy were together on my bed, i.e. Peggy was crawling all over and Miriam was assigned guard duty. But Miriam was reading her Nancy Drew mystery. To keep Peggy’s excursions constrained, she introduced her to books, explaining, “See, Peggy, This is a book. This is Nancy Drew.” Miriam tried to interest her in the cover, but when Peggy came close, she put it in her mouth.

It is common after her morning feeding that Peggy is left to play on the floor of our bedroom. A few toys dot the floor (usually both teething toys, sometimes the ring tower and Dapper Dan). After a little while, Peggy finds other objects of interest — and those are usually my books! (Just now I needed to remove them from her reach lest some tome come crashing down upon her.) If I were better organized the books might not be in piles on the floor.

It is my intention to introduce books to Peggy (as objects with a specific use in our social world) during today’s videotape (P 32). I have sorted through the older children’s collection of baby books and brought a selection from which Gretchen should pick her favorite. She chose “Baby Animals”, as I would have done also (Garth Williams, Golden Press, NY 1972). I prefer it to others in our set because it has big pictures and offers potential for making animal noises (fun for the parent). Gretchen has NOT read Ninio’s article on labeling in J. Child Lang. as I have. She attempted Bruner’s article on Ontogenesis of Speech Acts but found it impossible to get through. I have not described nor discussed Ninio’s article with her, so Gretchen’s responses should be natural, i.e. specifically not influenced by that article on labeling acquisition.
Anyone could well imagine Peggy’s first reaction to a book — put it in your mouth. To distract Peggy from my books while I moved them, I let her play with a book of Miriam’s (about 5″ x 6″, cardboard covered). I didn’t expect [her] to try so hard to digest the material. Not only had she chewed on the corner,, but she got it open (by accident? probably), ripped out and chewed on some of the pages. This is noted to explain why we will be cautious in Peggy’s holding of books.

3V0225.2

3V0225.02 Recognition Vocabulary 09/04

What words does Peggy recognize at 32 weeks? It’s very clear she recognizes her name (and Gretchen avers she has for some time) with considerable discrimination. The evidence is of various sorts. When I fed her last night (pears on the spoon) she was distracted by her rattle and the liner of her chair,, preferring playing with them to interacting with me. Calling her name immediately attracted her attention. I found myself then giving informed instruction, i.e. emphasizing and using with regularity the word MORE in this fashion: with Peggy’s attention gained (and with the spoon in view) I’d say “more?” If she smiled, I’d bring the food to her mouth, scraping off the pears on her upper lip, and repeat “more?” The criterion ‘smile’ had to be more than that, the “wiggly smile”, a laugh on her lips and arms and legs flailing. I don’t think Peggy discriminates the word “more” from any other. (This might be another question to test in today’s videotape if she is fed in that interval.) Peggy responds to her name when others call her. Yesterday Miriam was overseeing Peggy as she crawled about on the bedroom floor. She talked to her in long phrases which Peggy ignored. When Peggy came near the bed, Miriam called her. “Peggy!” and instructed her not to go under. Since Peggy still continued crawling, Miriam repeated the injunction and its call several times. In every case, Peggy attended to Miriam when her name was called. Sitting on my lap the day before, turned sideways and trying to evade my grasp so that she could chew on the chair arm, Peggy turned to me both times I called her name. In other instances: Oscar….Feathers….Meggy….Peggy [inflections indicated in original] Finally with “Peggy” again she turned back to me.

3V0225.3

3V0225.03 Miriam Giving the Ring Tower Lessons 9/04

During the last week, I found Miriam sitting on the floor with Peggy, playing with the ring tower. “I’m teaching Peggy how to put the rings on,” she explained.

3V0225.4

3V0225.04 Limits of Debugging and Body Awareness 9/04

Peggy not only crawls now, she goes over obstacles such as arms that are in her way. Playing on the bed, I tried to keep her from the edge by blocking her path with my arm. Since she could crawl over it, I held the arm off the bed at her eye height. Peggy solved this problem quite directly. Reaching out her left hand,, she grabbed my arm by the hair and tilting to the right pulled my arm up and directed it behind her. Of course, I did not want her to fall off the bed, but I didn’t want her well earned success to be simply overpowered. Thus, I grasped her left ankle. Peggy struggled to crawl forward and could not go. She could not diagnose the problem. This impasse continued for several minutes, during which time she turned and looked imploringly at Gretchen once or twice.

This incident marks an example of both her successful and unsuccessful debugging in high contrast.