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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.


3V0357.02 Reading 1/14/79

READING — When I tired of pipe play and put them away, Peggy pointed to the book about puppies Miriam has given her. Peggy played contentedly for a minute or a few — then she gave the book to me. I thanked her, admired the book, and returned it to her. She was not happy. She kept pointing to the animals (saying /daet/) and I responded “puppy”. On the various pages distinguishing between the puppies and other objects by name and intonation as well. Thus “puppy, puppy, puppy, telephone.” Peggy kept giving the book to me, and I continued returning it. Her frustration grew. I finally caught on. Peggy wanted me to “read” to her. She was contented when I held the book before her, turning the pages when I thought her ready, naming the objects she pointed to. Gretchen has “turned the pages” with Peggy and Miriam has “read” to her.

RELEVANCE — Because books appear to offer an interesting and flexible extension for Peggy’s new interest in pictures I feel we should capture now the style each of us “readers” brings to our book-focused playing with Peggy.

Further, books have the interesting property of being boxes without hollows. I have seen Peggy open a book, put in a teething ring,, then try to close the cover on it. Perhaps we can have her contrast the two in another part of P 51.


3V0483.01 [That’s a pup] (5/20/79)

Robby’s National Geographic World subscription brings other materials
beside the magazine into the house. Beside the vixen and pup poster
(and others) occasionally a small set of ‘cards’ arrives. one recent set
was of various types of dogs. Peggy looked at one with two basset
hounds. “What’s that?” I asked. Peggy paused and replied [That’s a


3V0538.01 [read the story]: real importance of communication; (7/14/79)

The little golden book version of Madeline was brought out today.
Miriam attempted to read it to Peggy. Peggy’s attention soon wandered
[she perhaps did not feel great either, being sick with roseola; the
fever had gone and the rash was come] and she fussed at me, but
Miriam continued to read. Later in the day, Peggy and I were alone in
the living room. I was seated in the recliner. Peggy came to me, waving
Madeline and babbling. I began to listen, and heard her say, “read the
story”! Before Miriam had read aloud earlier, she had asked Peggy
slowly and clearly something like “Do you want to read a story? Shall I
read this story to you?” Gretchen.


3V0544.01 “reading” Scientific American: 07/20/79

Since Miriam offered to “read the book” (Madeline), Peggy has pestered
us to read to her. The selection is surprising. Today she came
careening through the gallery pass-way waving a Scientific American
and saying distinctly (to herself — she was nowhere near me yet)

We did, after lunch, “read” that magazine. We would turn pages and
make noises of amazement at the pictures. Peggy returned repeatedly
to pictures of things she could recognize, e.g. cars. The objects
dominating advertisements were cars, cameras, and alcohol (whiskey,
gin, etc.). They got most of her attention, but she also examined
diagrams and drawings supporting text articles.

I got tired of this exercise and directed our attention to Miriam’s
illustrated tales of Peter Rabbit. Peggy was interested in the drawings,
but not so clearly so much as in the photographs of recognizable
objects, such as the cars.


3V0749.01 Words and Numbers; primary roots of discrimination (2/10/80)

Miriam and Peggy play with my yardstick a lot (a free one from a local
hardware store, it has the measure and advertisements on it). Miriam
marches around with it on her shoulder: “hup, two, three, four; hup…”
Peggy marches too, “hup, two, three; hup, two, three.”

Today she LOOKED at the yardstick, then pointing at the symbols as she
clambered along it, said ( in pointing at the numbers) “eleventeen” and
at the words “Peggy Lawler.”

What this means is that she is interpreting alpha-numeric symbols
already — in a very non-standard and idiosyncratic way — but she is
reading the symbol strings as meaningful already.


3V0769.03 Reading Hop on Pop (3/1/80)

Peggy sat reading in the middle of the study floor. Was Gretchen sitting
with her ? I can’t recall., but I know she was least in the room. Peggy
turned the first page, pointed at the picture and said, “Up // Pup.”
(This is the large letter text of the page.) On other pages, she “read”
other names and words, singly and in multi-word phrases: Song, Black;
All, Tall; No, Pat. She also produced her own interpretations. Where
three dogs fell out of a tub into the water, she noted, “Dog wet //
Soggy.” Peggy passed by the picture of three fish in a tree. I asked her
“What do you think of that fish in the tree?” She replied, “How bees ?”

The significance of this observation is that Peggy is obviously relating
uttered words and phrases to the specific pictures of her book “Hop on
Pop.” Some of this relating is associational, e.g. the name “Black” with
the specific character (she doesn’t know well color names). The role
of semantics is clearly evident in her interpretation of the “wet dogs”
picture. It is also probably implicated in her ‘reading’ of “No, Pat” and
“Up // Pup.” This applies even more strongly to her reply “How bees?”
(An idiosyncratic production instead of “How can that be?”)


3V0769.04 Contrast: reading Cat in the Hat (3/1/80)

I read this to Peggy for the first time today. It was very difficult to keep
her interested in any specific page long enough for me to read aloud
the relatively extensive text on each page. Realizing early that this was
a problem, I decided to see how far I could carry a straight forward
reading. I just barely managed — by using all of the tricks picked up by
being a father for ten years, pointing at the objects, verbal emphasis,
preventing her turning pages, etc. So “Hop on Pop” is a book of
pictures with words. “Cat in the Hat” is a storey book with pictures.
The episodic character of “Hop on Pop” is not only no draw back for
Peggy, she is clearly insensitive to, uninterested in, any extended story.


3V0772.01 Plan for Reading list: March 3rd-April 4th,1980

record located in notes near August 28, 1980:
This reading list will be first set up as a spread sheet then modified for
insertion in this file and copied to it. (roughly 160 entries)

not clear that this plan was ever completed. (RWL, March 2011)


3V0774.01 Jokes as communication protocols (3/6/80)

Miriam has been telling (surely in Peggy’s hearing) a knock-knock :
M : Knock knock.
V : Who’s there ?
M : Tim.
V : Tim who ?
M : Tim – ber !

At supper this evening, Peggy said :
P : knock knock.
B : Who’s there ?
P : Him.
B : Him who ?
P : laughter.

We continued, because Peggy kept initiating the jokes. Miriam repeated
her ‘Timber’ joke. And then Peggy, apparently sensing something was
required after ‘Him who ?’ continued in her final recitation to say :
B : Him who ?
P : After me.
This phrase is from a picture in Hop on Pop. The one where a tiger is
biting a boy (text : ‘He is after me.’)

I believe Peggy was imitating Miriam’s joke — but misapprehended it —
then recognizing something was amiss — went on to try repairing her
imitation by making what sense of it she could. I believe this is a
beautiful example of the particular process. As it connects back to her
initial learning of the KK script, this incident argues we should continue
attending to Peggy’s joke appreciation — because if we follow it all the
way through her initial ‘getting’ of a joke in a mature form, we will
have a primary example of how a child learns a socially embedded
communication protocol.


3V0777.01 Analogies — their incomprehension; deep role in cognition. (3/9/80)

Peggy woke me at midnight, she had a stuffy nose and was crying for
her Mommy. we played in the sitting room, she in my lap. Pointing to
a foxy, she said ‘Get foxy.’ I replied ‘Too far away.’ She continued ‘Like
a fader.’ Surprised, I asked, ‘He’s like a father ?’
P : ‘Yes. Big. ?
B : ‘Because he’s so big ?’
P : ‘Yes.’
I picked up things within reach, a rabbit and a toy gun. Peggy stuffed
the rabbit between her legs and the chair, then she picked up the gun.
After a few rotations and trigger pulls, she pointed to a small protrusion
about the handle ‘Who’s that ?’ (I didn’t answer.) She continued, ‘Tail ?’
Then picking up the rabbit by the tail, she said, ‘Rabbit have tail…(of
the gun, pointing again) Have uh tail ?’

This is as clear an example as one could wish to have of Peggy’s using
her part knowledge of one thing (animals) to analyze what the parts
are of things of a different sort. This is not a superficial simile, it is a
deep use of analogy to understand what’s what.


3V0781.01 “Peggy Lawler” – what symbols mean to her (3/13/80)

Ever since Miriam’s gift of the Grover Book (wherein she wrote PEGGY
LAWLER on the inside cover to show ownership), Peggy has interpreted
any group of letters as meaning “Peggy Lawler.” She distinguishes
(more or less) between four things: letters, seen as individuals; pictures
in books; words in books (seen en masse); and individual words,
standing out from the mass, as interpreted as meaning “Peggy Lawler”
(at least hopefully so named by her).


3V0785.03 Letters in cards (3/17/80)

The “school desk” set I gave Peggy in P112 (or P111) has card board
cards as part. These cards have cut outs for letter insertion for the
letters in the names of objects printed on them. Peggy has been fitting
letters into those slots.

3/22/80 Peggy has been fitting the magnetic letters in the plastic
hollow tray, trying to fit specific letters into their appropriate holes.


3V0789.01 Peggy Lawler again (3/21/80)

A later, outstanding example of this interpretation by Peggy occurred as
I read “The Fox” (by Peter Spier) to her. Peggy asked, “Who’s that?”
pointing to words at the bottom of the cover saying “Illustrations
drawn by Peter Spier.” She answered herself, “letters,” pointing to the
first words of the line. I pointed to the capitalized, bold-faced name of
the author. “Who’s that?” I asked. “Peggy Lawler” was her answer.


3V0790.01 Name: [Daddy name Bob] (3/22/80)

Pointing to her father working at his desk, Peggy said, “That Daddy.”
G: Yes
P: Daddy name Bob.”


3V0797.02 The Scottie in Madeline: [that scurry. that name scurry.] (3/29/80)

Reading again Peggy’s early favorite, we came to a page where a figure
in the background walks a black Scotty. Peggy asked, “Who’s that who, Daddy?”

Confused, I asked, “Who’s what?” She pointed, “That Scurry.
That name Scurry.”


3V0804.01 Directed speech (4/5/80)

I consider the appearance of this phenomenon one of the most striking
evidences of the elevation of control.

Several days ago, Peggy approached me with her favorite toy, “Bear
Hug.” She said to me, “Say ‘Hi bear’.” I did as she asked. This was
repeated a few times, with Scurry as the target.

Today Peggy came in the bath room while I was in the tub. She put her
boats in my bath, splashed around and so forth, then decided to leave.
She said to me, “Say ‘Good-bye Peggy’.” I complied. She left, saying,
“See you later.”

In Peggy’s direction, initiation of the protocol by the “second” actor
(from her point of view), she clearly exhibits a level of explicit control
supervising the execution of this very simple exchange.


3V0809.01 Letters and words: [QNA = “Peggy Lawler”] (4/10/80)

Peggy played on the floor with her magnetic desk. On the surface,
grouped together she put the letters, Q, N, and A.” She got my
attention, pointing to the three “Who’s that, Daddy?” I answered that
I didn’t know. She informed me, “Peggy Lawler.” Picking up the letter
‘E’, she asked “Who’s that?” I answered, “The name of the letter is ‘E’.”
We repeated this with other letters.


3V0811.01 Peggy writing ‘Daddy Lawler’ (4/12/80)

I came home from Cambridge last night with a cast on my leg. Robby
and Miriam both put their decorations on them. Peggy, this morning
took a blue pen somehow indicating she wanted to write on the cast.

When I asked what she would write, Peggy said, “Daddy Lawler.” She
drew a line of squiggles (reproduced in notes) at first, then for her next
two “Daddy Lawlers” she wrote long, linear scrawls.


3V0811.02 ‘That’s what’ — a microscript (4/12/80)

Peggy’s “Why?” question — which has come to follow our every
utterance to her — has become quite annoying. Sometimes we ignore
her question, treating it as an annoyance. Other reactions of ours, similar
in kind, are “because I told you to” or in truncated form “because…”

Outside, a few days ago, I prohibited Peggy from doing something she
really wanted to do. Instead of “Why?”, she asked, almost crying, “Why
’cause.” Similarly, Peggy has encountered an occasional “That’s why.”

Her occasional question “What?” has also been met with the curt and
incisive reply, “That’s what.” Peggy has apparently recognized this as a
joke — because the older children are practicing on her the three line
Jokester: You know what ?
Victim: What ?
Jokester: that’s What.
Today, Peggy turned the tables on Robby. When he replied “What?” to
some question (from me), Peggy continued, “That’s what.”


3V0811.03 Correction (4/12/80)

With my cast, I received a small boot to protect the plaster from the
weather. I’ve told Peggy this is my “bootie.” I just sent her out to get
her face and hands washed (she is very sticky after Miriam’s birthday
party.) As she passed my foot, she leaned on my foot (in the cast, in
the bootie). I complained, “Keep your sticky hands off my cast.” Peggy
walked on, then turned and remarked, “It’s a bootie” before continuing
on her way.


3V0811.04 Surprising syngnosticity (4/12/80)

Peggy’s toy elephant she names “Arroot.” Miriam received as a
birthday present a pig hand-puppet which Peggy very much admires.
She asked the name and Miriam called it “Alfred,” since which Peggy
has been chasing and pestering her for “My arroot.”

The resolution a half hour later: Peggy came in the study with Alfred
on her arm. She said, “Say ‘Hi Arroot’.” I did so.
P: “Peggy’s Arroot.”
B: No. That’s Mimi’s Arroot.
She still asserted, “Peggy’s Arroot.”
I persisted. “Mimi’s Arroot.”
Peggy then said, “I love Peggy’s Arroot,” thrummed and ran out to
Miriam, asking her to take the “arroot.” As she entered the study,
I asked her where her Arroot was. she shrugged her shoulders, tried the
toy box, and found it. Digging out the Arroot, she said, “It’s Mimi’s, my

This seems to be the incident where she distinguished between two
pink, lovable things named “Arroot” — not before. This is remarkable
if true, because they are so dissimilar in appearance and use.
This raises the question of how precise need be the descriptions Peggy
uses or needs to function well.


3V0811.05 Multiple farewells (4/12/80)

I was taking a bath and Peggy was in the room. She turned and went
out, saying. “I’m going to see Mimi.”
G: OK.
P: “Bye-bye.”
G: Bye, Peggy
P: See you later, Mommy.
G: See you later, Peg.


3V0813.01 Why because! (4/14/80)

Peggy has been driving us crazy with her “why?” queries (I am much
more aware of this than I was with the two earlier children). Her use of
the question is at least twofold (see also 4/12/80 entry), as
conversation continuer and as argument. By continuer, I mean Peggy
uses “why” as a means to keep another person talking to her; thus it is
the equivalent in function to a command. “Why” comes into service as
an argument often because Peggy’s requests can not brook refusal.
It expresses her unwillingness to accept a negative response to her
requests but does more as well (where there’s talk, there is hope).
It engages us in giving explanations and interjecting the conjunction
“because” as an initial element in responses [thus “because” must
signify something important, worthwhile understanding]. Thus Peggy
finds causal arguments opposed (and signified by “because”) as a type
of communication marginally under her influence. Her appreciation of
this is marked by her response when I forbid her to walk down the
driveway. She explained she wanted to play with Scurry (who was near
the road). When I still refused , she explained in angry opposition,
“Why because!”


3V0817.01 No function words (4/18/80)

Peggy and I walked down the drive way toward the house. She held her
“Bear Hug” by its arm. Holding the bear at ground level and bouncing
it, she said, “Bear walking me.”

Playing inside with an ovoid on four wheels, painted as a lady-bug,
Peggy remarked, “Playing Lady Bug.” We conclude Peggy does not yet
use “with” where adults would.


3V0818.01 Directed speech (cf. 4/5) (4/19/80)

Peggy inherited from Miriam a large number of small Fischer-Price
“people” and toy animals. Today Peggy played with the toys in my
hearing. Walking them down the piano, Peggy gave directions to the
toys, as people — and language addressable creatures, about where to
walk and what to say and what to do (nothing more elaborate than “go
down here” and “Say ‘Hi, kids’.”)


3V0819.01 Progressive Verbs (4/20/80)

Peggy has used present participles as progressive verb forms in a
descriptive mode (as on last page). In two incidents, the context makes
clear her richer semantic framework served by those forms. Yesterday
I sat on the front stoop. Peggy came up the path and before reaching
the stairs said to me “I sitting stairs,” expressing her intention, where
the future was verging on, imminent, but still not present.

Today Peggy climbed the stairs at the back porch and was unable to
open the door. She rattled at the door. It was clearly an obstacle to
her. Seeing me in the living room, Peggy asked me to open the door
by saying, “I going in to Daddy.” This is clearly an intentional, volitional

Peggy’s use of the progressive form does not involve expression of the
auxiliaries to which tense and aspect are attached. We should remain
sensitive to their emergence to observe what auxiliary forms develop
and in what sequence.


3V0819.03 “I believe it” (4/20/80)

Miriam noted Peggy’s comment about something she had said.


3V0822.01 Why did it?” (4/23/80)

I changed a soggy diaper and dropped it into the diaper pail. Peggy said
very seriously, “Why did it ? Why put diaper in there ?”


3V0824.01 The joke’s on us: [that’s What !] (4/25/80)

Upstairs, Peggy called repeatedly: “Mommy…Mommy…Mommy.”
A bit annoyed, I called back, “What? What? What?” Peggy instantly replied,
“That’s What!”


3V0830.01 Limit to script competence: ( fabricated date: 5/1/80)

After Miriam’s “Timber” knock knock, Peggy began “knock-knock.”
Miriam responded, “Who’s there?” Peggy appeared a little distressed
for a moment, then responded, “Mimi said.” and smiled.


3V0831.01 Names as unique identifiers: Rob is a person; she is a toddler, not a person. (5/2/80)

Peggy has two toys, a dog and a cat, which were once containers of
bubble bath. The blue cat she refers to as “kitty.” The pink poodle she
formerly referred to as a dog. Recently I told her the dog was an
animal. Thereafter she denied the “animal” was a dog and also denied
“kitty” was an animal. I then asked Peggy if she was a good girl. She
replied, “I’m a toddler.” I continued, “Are you a good kid?” She
responded, “Robby’s a kid. Mimi’s a kid.” I pushed on, “Robby’s a
person and so is Mimi. Are you a person too ?” Peggy concluded, “No.
I’m a toddler.”

My interpretation is that Peggy has used labels, names, as unique
identifiers (as proper nouns more than common nouns; this is no
problem – if people have the same names in different families, why
shouldn’t objects have the same names in different families, while
maintaining as much individuality as people do?) This issue led to
raising this sort of question in VT _____, where Peggy first admitted
she was both a toddler and a person.


3V0832.01 Peggy’s Typer: (5/3/80)

Peggy asked today (with no prompting at all) that I get out her “Typer.”
This is merely a further indication of her letter-interest.


3V0833.01 “Meaning”: asking about unknown references (5/4/80)

Peggy has begun to inquire about what some incomprehensible
utterance means. At supper this evening, we were discussing my next
trip to Boston (Peggy is beginning to claim she should come along.)
When, among familiar words, I mentioned going to “Logo”, Peggy
immediately asked, “What meaning ‘Logo’?” Gretchen said she has been
doing this recently, so this is cited as an example of what is now typical
linguistic skill, to inquire about the meaning of some utterance
segment when the interpretation failure has been localized there.


3V0836.01 Imitation of role: (bob in chair, chasing away kids) (5/7/80)

Peggy was sitting in Bob’s big recliner, reading. When Miriam came
along, Peggy said to her, “Go away, Mimi… I trying to work.” At about
the same period or slightly later, she chased Robby out of that same
chair, telling him to leave because it was Daddy’s chair.


3V0839.01 Assimilation example: dragon/’snake’ (5/10/80)

Miriam brought home from the library a recording of “The Hobbit.”
Pictured on the cover is the dragon, ‘Smaug’ (as Tolkein notes, a “low
gothic joke.,” the past participle of “smugen” to extrude from or
through a hole). No one, I believe, has even mentioned dragons to
Peggy and no one, I am certain, showed her the picture before and
explained it. “What’s this, Peggy?” I asked as I produced the picture.
She decided, “Snake,” definitely and was not corrected.

This is not an important example (but it is a clear one) of interpreting
what you haven’t met before as a variant of what you have.


3V0840.01 Using “then”: example of suitable temporal conjunction (5/11/80)

This is a lost example. I can no longer recall precisely what Peggy said,
but the import remains to me. She connected two sentences together
with “then” explaining to me some earlier action of hers. It was a clear
case of suitable temporal conjunction — a multi-sentence logical


3V0846.01 Third person for intense emphasis: commands to Scurry (5/17/80)

Peggy played with Scurry, trying to get her to SIT (a command which
Scurry will obey when she chooses). With the dog on a leash, Peggy
pulled her around for a while and in the course said “sit.” Scurry did
not obey. Intensifying her command, Peggy said to Scurry, “She told
me sit,” emphatically.


3V0846.02 Directed speech: Peggy in multiple roles and reading (5/17/80)

Peggy found the other day a toy candy dispenser with a rabbit head on top.
Today she sat on the floor, playing with it and reading the Britannica
‘Thinking’ book. She asked the rabbit:
Peggy: Wanta read it to me rabbit ?
Rabbit: That’s a cat.
Peggy: It sure is.

Later on, Peggy indulged in some more dialogue, as she and her toy
rabbit played with other small animals.
Rabbit: Hi. this is my house…. His house…. Hi, Pony. Hi, cow.
Peggy: (turning to me) Rabbit talking a pony.


3V0851.01 Inappropriate color names: red and blue are green also (5/22/80)

Peggy is sensitive to color as an important descriptor. She interprets
color names as such and uses them in her speech — but the application
is all wrong. Her favorite color term is green — she applies it generally
(and with no obvious uneasiness) to red and blue.


3V0851.02 Lonely discovery: another micro-script {This little piggy…] (5/22/80)

Upon awakening late this morning, I could hear Peggy through the
partition separating our rooms, talking to herself. She said, “This little
piggy…wee wee home.”

We have recited this game for Peggy for some while (and Gretchen did
so when Putting Peggy to bed last night). Peggy, by the evidence clearly
recalls the first and last phrases. WHAT she recalls is not important.
The fact that once again, by herself, she is rehearing social/verbal
scripts is important. “Lonely discovery” now has more than one


3V0852.01 Verbal aspect: self correction I do -> I did (5/23/80)

Peggy has been to the beach with Gretchen. Returning from Boston,
I heard of Peggy falling down in the water and began to talk about it with her:
Bob: You fell ?
Peggy: I fall in water.
Bob: You do ?
Peggy: (correcting me!): I DID !

Peggy is clearly using tense forms to express something meaningful to her.
I suspect (with the Bronkhart/Sinclair article in mind) that aspect
is what is significant to her.


3V0852.02 More imitation: (Bob with cast on leg, using Rob’s boot) (5/23/80)

Peggy was playing with one of Miriam’s old cowboy boots. She put it on
one foot and stumped around remarking, “I have cow boot. I have a
cast on my leg.” [bob had broken his foot on Good Friday, and has had
a cast for five weeks, up to a week or so ago]. A day or two ago, she
ran through a similar scenario.


3V0856.01 Anticipating trouble; the unusual is forbidden (5/27/80)

Miriam and Peggy were outside. Miriam wanted to go down to the
beach without her sister, so she told Peggy that “Mommy wants to
speak to you. Peggy headed inside remarking, “Am I in trouble?”

Peggy was pestering me mildly as I sat at the table, so I let my head fall
forward onto the table. She immediately ordered, “Don’t sleep on your nose.”


3V0862.01 Roots of reading (6/2/80)

Peggy has started reading to us. It began last night when I came to bed and
found Peggy reading a Tintin book to herself. She offered to read to me,
open[ed] to the first page and began: “once a morning, a ship (was) in the water…”
then closed the book and started bouncing on the bed. The passage to which
the book was open showed a liner in mid ocean — but where did
“Once uh morning” come from?

Peggy soon read other things — her “Puppies” book, lacking its covers
and many pages — where “Once uh morning” came up again. (CF. failure
to get her to read in P123.) I finally figured it out — her favorite
little book is “Benjamin Bunny” (3×4″) which she carries around and
often looks in. It begins “One morning a little rabbit sat on a bank…”

What could be a more primitive reading than to begin with a phrase of
an over learned script then continue into the “variable” portion of the
story by describing the agents and actions represented by the pictures.

When you think about it, what could be a better primer than the
realistic cartoons of Tintin – where “people” do dramatic things with
recognizable objects — Peggy first began reading books by recognizing
the actors, eg. “That’s snowy.” “That’s Tintin” (this began at least a
year ago- cf. early notes & recall her close bond to Scurry).

Do I have any past notes which mention Peggy’s first descriptions of actions ?
I think not. Gretchen says it was within the past 2-3 weeks. I think it
was within the past 2 months. Clarifying this relation is important.


3V0862.02 Beginning reading: reading from Puppies book (6/2/80)
reconstructed from a journal entry of 6/2/80 )

When Peggy offered to read to me (“Daddy, I read you”), I joined her on
the floor. Her specific reconstruction of three pages via pictures were

TERRIERS: “Once a morning, puppy want a dig a hole (this reflects
phrase from “The Pokey little puppy.”

DALMATIONS: “There’s a boot. What the other puppies do?” (This
surely reflects the picture; may reflect text of the book.

SPANIELS: “Four puppies in a basket. Wanta ride this bike cyl.”
Peggy got the “Pokey Little Puppy” for me to read to her when I asked
Gretchen about “puppy want a dig a hole.”


3V0864.01 More on aspect: peculiar verbs (6/4/80)

/In the note of 5/23/80, I remarked on Peggy’s use of “did” to specify
what is probably aspect. Another example occurred today where Peggy
on Miriam’s being away from home [sic]. I believe I asked her where
Miriam was. She responded (and I remember this precisely, “Mimi’s
gone. She did go swimming.”


3V0873.01 Funny verbs: [I be a small-ey] (6/13/80)

Playing on my bed in the morning, we began to talk about being big and
small. At one point, she asserted, “I be a small-ey.” This is a weak
example of her usage, to further examples of which we will try to be
more sensitive.


3V0876.01 More role articulation: (toilet training) (6/26/80)

Peggy has been much engaged with toilet training (mainly from social
pressure plus a little direct instruction). For example, when I called
home from Boston last week, she was so proud of herself she explained
having taken off her coat and dress and that she had pissed in the toilet.
Similarly, after shitting in her toilet on Saturday, she brought in the
removable pot to display her accomplishment. Now this morning,
before anyone else was up, I heard her talking through the partition
which separates our rooms. First, she spoke to some bug that dared
invade her crib and chased it away. Later, she said, “I just pissed.
SHAME ON YOU.” (The capitals indicating a louder tone. So we have
distinctions of roles, pronoun usage, and in volume/tone. But what is
she doing ? Is she using multiple roles to preserve recall of an unusual
verbal form “Shame on you.” ? So would run my speculation.


3V0876.02 Roots of reading: recapitulation of Benj. Bunny

Peggy just said, “Bunny slid [/sit?] down in the road and went to Mister
Gregor’s house.” Peggy was, of course, looking at Benjamin Bunny, pp. 10-11.
The text is as follows:
“as soon as they had passed (The McGregors), little Benjamin Bunny
slid down into the road, and set off — with a hop, skip, and a jump —
to call upon his relations who lived in the wood at the back of Mister
McGregor’s garden.”

Peggy has recalled some of the salient points of the story, e.g.
destination, and has recalled her interpretation of some of the surface
text, e.g. Benjamin sit down in the road.” Putting them together at the
appropriate picture-cued point of the story, she constructed her “reading.”