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3V0001.01 Recollections of Peggy’s birth 1/23/78

After telling our landlord, as I returned from walking the dog Sunday night, that the baby was not expected for a week, I realized on coming inside that Gretchen was showing the classic signs of imminent labor. All day she suffered lower-back muscular pains, she frequently experienced shooting pains in her legs. Consequently, I was not too surprised when, upon waking at 4:30am, I found Gretchen already in labor. I was surprised she was so far along, with contractions every three to four minutes. Gretchen explained she had wakened at 2 with contractions at 15 minute intervals but felt I needed sleep and saw no reason to wake me.

The suitcase had long been packed. We dressed, readied the car, considered then skipped breakfast, and left for the hospital with deliberate haste. The roads were passable but still in bad condition (24″ of snow had fallen on the 20th and 21st). There was no traffic at the hour and we proceeded without difficulty to the hospital by 5:30am.

By 6am, Gretchen had been admitted and undergone the regimen of delivery preparation. The doctor arrived, checked the cervical dilation, broke the bag of waters, and said he anticipated delivery between 8 and 8:30. The pains were very bad. He ordered a shot and directed me to massage Gretchen’s lower back. By 6:30, it was clear the foetus would not wait. I called our landlord at 6:35 to wake the children and send them to school as he had agreed. During the call, Gretchen was removed from the labor room, I hurried after to the delivery room.

The doctor held the head as it emerged…. Holding her upside down, the doctor suction-cleared her mouth, checked her breathing, and laid Peggy on Gretchen’s stomach.

Peggy was pale blue at birth, as was Robby; I don’t recall Miriam’s color. Peggy’s color led me to ask her Apgar rating (it was 8 at both the first two judgments). Her weight at birth was 8 pounds 8 ounces (Robby had weighed in at 9,2 and Miriam at 8,10). She was delivered at 8:46. The labor was very short (compared to 14 hours for Robby and 10 for Miriam) and painful, since in effect Peggy was delivered without anesthesia. The umbilical cord was cut and Peggy was removed to a warming basket.

At 7:30, Gretchen and Peggy were back in the labor room, resting. I called home to find Robby and Miriam puzzling over whether they should go to school or whether it had been canceled. During a third call, at 8:15, I found school was canceled. The children had to stay at home alone, but had our landlord to call on should any need arise. None did. Robby was able to talk to Gretchen during this call, and he seemed very happy that things had gone so well and that Gretchen could assure him she was allright.

Around 8:30, Peggy was taken to the nursery where she spent most of the morning. Gretchen got cleaned up while I had breakfast, then we spent the morning together in her room in the maternity section of the hospital.

Gretchen added later in a marginal note, about suffering terribly at the delivery — ‘a relative statement – who knows how bad it would have been. Also there is the knowledge you are truly on the home stretch. The entire extent was “really bad” but it was less than half an hour.’


3V0017.1 Early body movements 2/8/78; 0;17

Peggy’s umbilical scab has fallen off, so it no longer matters if she rolls over on her belly. She and I were laying on the bed after Gretchen fed her. I proposed her up on her right to aid in digestion, but she would not be still. Still rooting a diaper, she flopped onto her belly in a squall of tears and wailing. She was vigorously kicking with crawling gestures and continued doing so. With her left arm placed as if she were doing a pushup (and her right seemed trapped under her body), Peggy kept on “crawling.” She had no traction on the sheet so her motions seemed to be a general flailing until I put my hand at her soles, giving her a surface to push against though still no traction at the knees. Even though she could not lift her head up, Peggy pushed herself forward over four inches (in about two minutes) before I restored her to her initial position.


3V0032.01 One month checkup 2/23/78; 1;0

Today was Peggy’s first post-natal examination. At one month, she weighs 11 lbs, 9 oz. (having left the hospital at 8,3). The two “stork bites” on her eye lids may actually be birth marks, in which case we should assume they will remain for several years. She is 22 inches long. Cranial circumference is 15 inches. Doctor Morse said we should not expect her to focus well or recognize anything until she is 6 to 8 weeks old (this in response to my remark that she always appears to be looking over a person’s shoulder). Her nightly fussing he described as her first period of coming “awake”, his positions being that babies sleep most of the time and only gradually become conscious in the sense we are when awake. He said her weight gain is positive proof that she is not colicky or ill. The first infant reaction to sickness is loss of appetite — of which she shows none. She breathes well, has a heart and a well formed pelvis. She appears to be in great shape.

His advice about the crying was to amuse her if we chose to do so, not to worry about it, perhaps to place here where there is a little noise (radio or TV) or where there are people moving about frequently — such as in the kitchen — in the kind of infant seat we have already.

Comparing her weight with the other children, Gretchen noted that at one month Miriam weighed 10,14 and Robby 11,7. Peggy, being born near her calculated due date, is, in effect, being measured a week earlier than they were (both were born about a week after the calculated due date), so her gross weight seems quite in line with Miriam’s.

Gretchen: a note about fussing – 4/23/78
By the time of the visit to the doctor, we had realized this was not a hunger problem. We simply resigned ourselves to putting up with the problem as best we could, knowing that she would go to bed after the final feeding around 11, and hoping that by three months it would be over. One night, right before her ten-week post natal checkup, I fed her around 7:30 pm and 8:30 she was sleepy, so I put her down and to my pleased surprise she slept right through until 7:30 the next morning. Since then, she has pretty well given up the last evening feeding and gone to bed for the night around 9 pm, give or take 30 minutes.


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.


3V0052.01 Peggy begins sleeping through the night 3/15/78; 1;21

Peggy is showing considerable motor development now. Starting yesterday, when left alone in her crib, she has been straining very hard to lift her head and succeeding (before collapse). By lifting her head, I mean raising it straight up by contracting her neck muscles. She gets even higher by raising herself on her arms — this permits her crown to be seen down to the eyes above the top of the crib bumper on a horizontal line.

For the first time, she rolled over on her back when put on her stomach. (She did so at least twice.) Robby took Peggy’s picture while straining to raise her neck and, after, suggested we keep a note book describing her development.

My general impression is that she now shows about the same motor development as a new born kitten (this is a kind of dumb comment — the intent of the statement is to mark how much more competent she is now than at birth).


3V0052.01 Motor development: rolls onto her back (CF. note #19) 3/17/78; 1;23

Peggy is showing considerable motor development now. Starting yesterday, when left alone in her crib, she has been straining very hard to lift her head and succeeding (before collapse). By lifting her head, I mean raising it straight up by contracting her neck muscles. She gets even higher by raising herself on her arms — this permits her crown to be seen down to the eyes above the top of the crib bumper on a horizontal line.

For the first time, she rolled over on her back when put on her stomach. (She did so at least twice.) Robby took Peggy’s picture while straining to raise her neck and, after, suggested we keep a note book describing her development.


3V0085.01 Social development: outgoing; interactions with family 4/17/78; 2;26

Peggy is considerably more outgoing than a month ago.. She lets us know we should pick her up by crying, and she wants to be picked up most of the time. Over the past week, she has become distractible from wanting to be held if anyone plays with her by making faces. An air-intaking, wide open mouth (gesture of mock surprise) is her favorite and leads directly to big smiles. She shows no laughter yet but it is beginning in squeals of delight, as yesterday while she sat in my lap. Peggy now enjoys bouncing up and down to “Ride a horse to Boston” this other rhyme: (Miriam introduced this rhyme– one like Danny Hillis did with her at Logo):
Giddy-up horsie
Go to town
Take little Peggy there.
Don’t fall down !
“Pop goes the weasel!” — with Peggy flying high in the air on the second “Pop” — frightens her a little, but she enjoys it too.
Peggy is sleeping regularly and feeding well — but she now often interrupts her meal to smile and play with Gretchen.


3V091.01 Social development: outgoing; interactions with family 4/17/78; 2;26

note on the previous fussing (reference to 2/23/78 vignette):

By the time of the visit to the doctor, we had realized this was not a hunger problem. We simply resigned ourselves to putting up with the problem as best we could, knowing she would feel better after the final feeding around 11, and hoping that by 3 months it would be over. One night, right before her 10-week post-natal checkup, I fed her around 7:30 and by 8:30 she was sleepy, so I put her down, and to my pleased surprise she slept right through until 7:30 the next morning. Since then, she has pretty well given up the last evening feeding and gone to bed for the night around 9, give or take 30 minutes.


3V0091.05 Grasping 4/23/78

Peggy is showing greater tendencies now to grasp — clothing while nursing, a diaper otherwise. Also to direct her hand to mouth and suck at the thumb end. When she does this with crying, she sounds as though she is trying to stifle the noise by jamming her fist in her mouth. She has also made very vague hand motions at her toy clown when it was held right in front of her at waist level.


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.


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.


3V0111.01 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.


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.”


3V0123.02 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.


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.


3V0125.03 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.


3V0125.04 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.


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.


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


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.


3V0148.01 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 !


3V0154.01 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.


3V0156.01 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.


3V0174.01 How Peggy rolls over (7/15/78)

I saw Peggy roll over today in a way revealing of what must be the typical situation. Laying on her stomach with one arm clenched at her right shoulder, Peggy reached out with her left hand for charley, her toy bear. Charley was way beyond Peggy’s grasp. She was obviously frustrated and making incipient crying noises. While reaching again for Charley, she dug in her left foot with the leg flexed (as though trying to crawl forward — which she does not yet do )/. When she straightened her left leg, Peggy rolled over, pivoting on her right hip. Flopping on her back, Peggy appeared to be surprised, startled even, but didn’t cry, smiling instead when she recognized me. I put her back on her belly and brought Charley in reach.


3V0179.02 Using her new teeth 07/20/78

Peggy now has three teeth, two in bottom and one on top. She has discovered that she can grate them together, producing a skritching sound and heaven knows what kind of sensation. She does it quite deliberately, particularly when being fed solid food, pushing her lower jaw forwards and sideways in order to center the single tooth on the pair below.


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.


3V0180.01 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.


3V0180.04 Sounds. Babbling and playing with toes after rolling over 07/22/78

This morning about 7 am I heard Peggy babbling in her crib and woke Gretchen to listen. Peeking carefully through the door to be certain I wasn’t seen, I watched Peggy as she lay on her back, babbling and playing with her toes in apparent good cheer. Contrast this with the more usual crying that occurred when she first rolled on her back. Could it be that she now “has something to do” when accidentally landing in this position which makes it tolerable? [And is more accustomed to the sensation rather than being frightened by a novel shock — note by Gretchen] Can we notice whether her babbling occurs in other standard positions (e.g. in the infant seat, as I’m sure it does, or on her stomach, as is much less likely).


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.


3V0200.01 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.


3V0200.02 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.)


3V0200.04 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.


3V0201.01 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.


3V0204.01 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.


3V0204.02 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.


3V0205.01 A Natural Experiment
< from earlier title: "Rolling Over (earlier socialization)" Meeting Cousin Matthew. (8/15/78 )

Peggy rolled over today from back to belly, but the evidence is circumstantial. She had been eating a teething biscuit and was covered with glom from head to foot. I put her down on her back in the crib while I went to fill her bath. when I returned, Peggy was on her stomach.

This past Rob’s ninth birthday. Grand mom had arranged for a “splash-party’ over at Betty Ann and Pete’s house, so after a brief rest and some lunch, we all went over to Cherry Hill. Their baby, Matthew, 12 days older than Peggy, was napping when we arrived, about 2 o’clock. Not too much later, he awoke and Betty brought him out. to meet us and Peggy. He is a big solid kid — 19 pounds compared with 15.5 for Peggy, who looks positively delicate compared to him. they seemed only moderately interested in each other. when brought closer, each reached out a hand, Matthew more aggressively than Peggy. She appeared a trifle wary, unsure of what was going on. Matthew was feeling for her face, and Betty remarked something about “straight for the eyes.” Peggy was then taken up to Matthew’s crib for a nap, as she had been up since 6:30 am and had slept only a short while in the car (she fell asleep on the way over). The two babies met again once more, with similar outcome. Additionally, both were placed on the floor, where Matthew sat with ease , while Peggy fell over every time she reached in any direction. Matthew’s bottle and something of Peggy’s were on the floor, and each reached for the other’s thing.


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.


3V0216.05 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.


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.


3V0221.06 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.


3V0225.04 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.


3V0233.01 Peek a Boo, a Central game for Peggy 9/12

Peggy has been playing PEEK for some time now, and it is a central game for her, i.e. one from which her knowledge of the world and objects’ permanence is growing outward (cf. notes on 8/26). When we sit at table and are satisfied with food, the situation becomes primarily a social one. Peggy’s repertoire being limited while her social interest is high leads me to try simple variations on games I know satisfy her social needs. For example, recently (during this week) Peggy played Peek-a-boo with the diaper Gretchen used to wipe up the food that escaped Peggy’s mouth. I didn’t have a diaper to play with. So, in my turn I first looked at her intently, smiling, then looking away said, “Where’s Daddy?” Then looked her directly in the eye, saying “Peek.” Peggy burst out laughing, a sure sign that she caught on to the way this new game was a variation of her familiar game.

In this same situation (of Peggy’s interacting but having a minimal repertoire), a situation recurring at nearly every meal, I started winking at Peggy. She enjoyed it tremendously (with only one eye closed, I could see very [well] her broad smile and kicking gestures of excitement).

RELEVANCE — these variations on Peek-a-boo are incremental extensions of a social game into the problem of object permanence. Clearly, people (even babies) don’t go away when they put a diaper over their faces. Playing Eye-peek makes explicit the temporary social separation of a very permanent object – an important person. When a child’s important toys — such as Peggy’s humanoid rattle — suffer Peek-a-boo, the extension of the sense of permanence from people to specific objects may be only an incremental step.


3V0233.02 Peek a boo and the car trunk lid: 9/12

PEEK-A-BOO AND THE CAR TRUNK LID — Wednesday (9/6), when we returned Miriam to school after her appointment with the allergist, Gretchen bought some groceries and left me with Peggy. Peggy was very unhappy, having missed her morning nap and needing a diaper change — impossible till we should arrive home. Do you leave a baby squalling away, abandoned in the back seat of your car? The temptation is very great. I played with Peggy for a while, fetching her rattle (that humanoid again) whenever she threw it away (or dropped it — a distinction hard to make in the circumstance of her intense feeling). One very effective distraction — when Peggy dropped her rattle near me, i picked it up by the “feet”, showed it to her at the edge of her car seat, then as she reached for it, I slipped the rattle under her car seat. Peggy was buckled into her car seat and couldn’t get out — but she strained hard, leaning over the edge of the seat, looking for the no longer present rattle. We did this several times because it worked. She could be interested enough to forget her misery of the moment.

Seeing Gretchen in line, I went behind the car to open the trunk. Peggy’s car seat was fastened facing backward on the back seat. With the lid raised and her crying, I stepped to one side to wave at her through the window, to reassure her she had not been abandoned — and we were once again at playing Peek-a-boo…with the trunk lid in place of a diaper. After Peeking out once, the further novelty of the situation was clear. The trunk lid had two sides. I now appeared on the opposite side, watching Peggy. She was watching the point of my disappearance intently — but caught sight of me at my reappearance on the opposite side and turned to me smiling. I smiled back, disappeared and reappeared at the original side. Peggy was still looking where last I was, but saw me. Next I disappeared at the right (the original side) and reappeared there, found her still looking..; disappeared and reappeared on the left, to which she turned immediately. I left to help Gretchen with the groceries.

RELEVANCE — The first incident shows Peggy’s grasp of object permanence in the context of visible/invisible domains of space (cf. Piaget OIC, obs.____). The second observation is a naturally occurring analog of an object disappearing behind a screen — but with the difference that the permanent object, me, has its own motives for appearing in one place or another. Even observing that Peggy always looked to the right, we should ask — where should she look? If objects appear and disappear in ways one can’t explain, wouldn’t it be an easy theory to attribute to them some lesser quantum of will than those adults who loom so large in the infant’s life?
– circumstantial problems impel parents to distract infants
– interest is at the zone of proximal development
– parents provide instruction whether they intend to or want to or not


3V0233.05 Miriam as Instructor 9/12

MIRIAM AS INSTRUCTOR — Miriam frequently gets stuck with the job of caring for Peggy over short intervals of time. For example, she may care for her while Gretchen bathes in the morning. Miriam’s play varies considerably. Sometimes she plays interactively (cf. 8/26); other times she plays with Peggy more as an object than a person. Sometimes Peggy is little more than an excuse for Miriam to play with Peggy’s toys. For example, I tied a string to a small silver rattle and placed it around Peggy’s neck. It was soon a favorite toy. Miriam took it from her, made the loop smaller and placed it around the neck of Charlie (Peg’s bear) despite Peggy’s immediate and vociferous complaints.

At the beach, Miriam has been teaching Peggy to walk. (She supports her under the armpits and directs her feet by the pressure of her own legs.) She has been teaching Peggy how to play ring-toss with the ring tower. Peggy has many times nearly got one of the larger rings on the pole. Seeing her pick up the yellow ring (which Miriam left in the scatter of the floor) and reach up and out, hitting the pole with her hand in which the ring is grasped, inclines me to believe she is trying to get it on but has a motor skill inadequacy for the task. Finally, Sunday morning, Miriam sat on the floor with Peggy and pointing to the fire in our floor- level hearth, said, “Look, Peggy, look at the fire.” That is, she is giving labeling instructions in a format out of the Dick and Jane books. Peggy followed her pointing from where they sat together.


3V0233.06 Other Selves in Television and the Mirror 9/12

9/13 (in Guilford)
Sunday morning (9/10) we had our first bedroom fire. To permit that I had on Saturday rearranged the furniture so there was none near the fireplace. After that initial rearrangement I set up the videotape and started viewing P 32 to make sure everything worked. Peggy was playing on the floor when she heard Gretchen’s voice from the TV and saw Gretchen and herself on the screen. Peggy was fascinated, crawled over and touched the screen, hitting it with her hand, even after I turned off the videotape and TV.

On Sunday, I again rearranged the bedroom furniture to make a small play area for Peggy. When she first played there, Peggy crawled over with the small silver rattle in her hand and beat against the TV screen as she had done before against the mirror in the living room.

RELEVANCE — What can Peggy make of these other selves in the mirror and TV screen? They must be a fascinating problem and one, unfortunately, way beyond her comprehension. Will they not complicate for her the problem of understanding the permanence and accessibility of people and objects? I suspect she will be able to handle them only as an accepted but uncomprehended mystery — as TV must seem to most children and adults.


3V0236.02 Miriam as Instructor (9/15/78)

Miriam has been trying to ‘teach’ Peggy to sit up and walk. The latter especially makes me uneasy because I fear her dropping Peggy. Miriam typically props Peggy up on the bed and returns her toys when dropped so Peggy doesn’t fall over reaching for them. I discussed sitting up with Miriam, asked if she wanted to participate in Sundays videotape (P34). she agreed to but, as she went off to get ready for school, she warned me, “Don’t you teach Peggy to sit up while I’m off at school.” Miriam looked a little incredulous when I told her Peggy would learn to sit and walk even if no one ever showed her how.


3V0269.01 Standing in her crib (Miriam did it) (10/18/78)

Peggy has shown much more inclination to stand than to sit. It has been hard even to get her to sit down in a lap. Today, Miriam called out from the girls’ room most excitedly, “Mom, Dad, come see. Peggy’s standing by herself.” And Peggy was standing in her crib, holding on to the top bar. How did she get there ? Miriam pulled her up from a sitting position, but Peggy’s hands on the bar and let her go. She has done so on subsequent days.

Relevance: This incident shows Miriam’s intrusiveness, driving Peggy forward to “the next major achievement.”


3V0271.01 A Walker: social pushiness as instruction 10/20/78

For several weeks, we have discussed buying a walker for Peggy because of her preference for standing and as a device she could use to increase her scope. We have seen them on sale and today bought one.

Relevance: The first incident shows Miriam’s intrusiveness, driving Peggy forward to “the next major achievement.” We parents do the same in watching what Peggy is capable of and giving her whatever we think she could use to enrich her time and extend her scope.


3V0275.01 Sitting Up (10/24/78)

We have been disinclined to sit Peggy on the floor. We have no rugs because of Miriam’s allergies and when Peggy might fall sideways, she would take a solid crack on the skull. This night, both the older children played in the bedroom and Peggy crawled about on the floor crying. I did not want to pick her up, so I sat her down in the middle of the bed with her ring tower, her person rattle, and a box of blocks. Peggy stopped squalling and played quietly for half an hour, all the time seated in one place. During that time, she also extended her range. she began by leaning a little sideways to pick up her rattle; she then put the rattle in front and learned forward to get it. Finally, Peggy tossed the rattle beyond her reach, leaned forward between her legs half crawling, then she pushed herself back up to a sitting position.


3V0278.01 “Pick me up” gesture as precursor of causality. 10/27/78;

When wanting to be picked up, Peggy’s habit has been to crawl to your feet and look up, crying and wailing. Oftimes, we would hold out our hands as she crawled over to show both our readiness and that we wanted her to come to where we were. Gretchen mentioned yesterday a new and more explicit tactic of Peggy. She believes that as Peggy drew near her hands, she pulled Gretchen’s hands under her armpit. Did that really happen ? Peggy just did it again, with me, just pulling my left hand and then my right into those places.

Relevance: the really intriguing question here is whether to Peggy this is a sign or an action through which she “expects” to effect her picking up. I can’t imagine any test that would differentiate between the possibilities — and she most likely makes no such distinction herself. you can almost believe in a primitive association, a magical -going-together (as Levi-Strauss puts it) as the precursor of the idea of cause. This may be an example of it.