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3V0001.1

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.’

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.)

3V0018.1

3V0018.1 Bob comforts Peggy during the night 2/9/78; 0;18/

Near midnight this morning, Peggy woke Gretchen, apparently ready for a late night snack. After nursing for only a few minutes, she lost interest. Gretchen got quite frustrated at being waked to no purpose and returned Peggy, crying again, to her crib. When I could stand the noise no more (it was not too loud in itself, but I felt Peggy was keeping Gretchen awake), I picked up Peggy and walked her up and down the loft. I had no intention of continuing this exercise, but Peggy would not suffer quietly being put down. I climbed back into bed, still holding her and continued to do so for half an hour or more before rising to write this note. Peggy has taken my place in bed, but she is quiet.

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 ?

3V0052.1

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).

3V0085.1

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.

3V0091.1

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.

3V0091.2

3V0091.02 Peggy’s Vocalization 4/23 serial 0091

Peggy is 3 months old today; 13 weeks tomorrow. Gretchen has been making noises at Peggy for quite a while. Her favorite seems to be a drawn-out /kI/ with a moist tongue so that a slight bubbling sound is added. Within the past 7 – 10 days Peggy has been repeating the sound after Gretchen. She has spontaneously been complaining with /ngae/ for over 4 weeks. Over the few days, I heard her say /dae/ and Miriam remarked /gi/. (and just now /gae/).. Gretchen noted a sound she trouble describing – but offered “sort of a cross between /d/ and /th/.” Her imitation sounded to me like an aspirated /d/. (/dh/?)

The speech Peggy is subject to [is] the kind that we pretend she can understand. For example, Miriam went over with a new toy rabbit and said, “Peggy, wanta feel my new bunny?’ then put the rabbit in her hand. Gretchen talks in short sentences or long phrases, sometimes making cheerful noises. When Peggy makes noises, Gretchen responds as if Peggy were attempting to speak meaningfully to her. My speech is rare for I usually sing or chant the bouncing rhymes. Usually I sing quiet songs that I like (such as “Windmills” by Alan Bell) but last night to Peggy’s great delight, I broke out in varied choruses of the Dixieland classic “A Closer Walk with Thee” with all sorts of sounds, each continuing for at least a complete musical phrase. Peggy was especially pleased by the plosives, the la-la-la’s, and the /ch/ sounds.

3V0091.3

3V0091.03 Mothers-view 4/23/78

While Bob entered the previous notes, I was playing with Peggy on my lap, making noises. At one point she laughed, a set of three distinct sounds.

She now, more often than not, takes one long nap (as long as 4 hours) in the day, usually after her second feeding around 11.

Over the past few weeks I have begun taking her out with me when I go shopping because she will cry when left at home where Bob is trying to work. She is soothed by the motion of the car and generally amused by all the bustle and novelty of the store. Except for one occasion she has behaved very well, i.e. sat quietly looking about her or fallen asleep. People stop to look at her (there must be a lot of frustrated grandmothers around). Yesterday the children and I met Paul Goldenberg and his wife Andy in the Chestnut Hill Star.

3V0091.4

3V0091.04 Personality Scale 4/23/78

An article, “The Origins of Personality” in 8/70 Sci. American, presents a “temperamental quality” chart of personality characteristics (9) which the authors claim define life-long inclinations.

Trait

Rob

Peg

Miriam(recall)
activity level

high

high

low
rhythmicity

irreg-medium

regular (most)

regular (some)
distractability

not distractable

distractable

distractable
approach/withdrawal

positive-medium?

positive

positive
adaptability

medium

medium

no recall
persistence

medium?long

?long/medium

long
intensity

intense

intense/mod.

moderate
responsiveness

high-moderate

high

low
mood

positive

positive

positive

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.

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.

3V0114.1

3V0114.01 Feeding Cereals (5/16/78)

Peggy started solid food on 16 May — a small amount of rice and cereal prepared with expressed milk. At first she reacted as though she expected medicine of some kind; the only external material fed to her for some time has been vitamin/fluoride drops. (She has not had supplemental formula since she was almost four months; she did have it for the previous three off and on because of her nightly fussing. I knew evening is generally the low point for milk production, and was expecting possible problems, as Robby had remained unsatisfied with the dinner time feeding and had been supplemented for a month or six weeks. Peggy’s bottles were dropped when it became clear the problem was not one of hunger. Despite this initial move of distaste, she appears to enjoy the cereal and is relatively neat. My technique is to scrape it off the spoon onto the back of her upper gum, the first few spoonsful generally get eaten with no mess at all. Then some dribbles out, and Peggy also tries to put in her hand and chew on a diaper. Occasionally she even tries to grab the spoon and direct it.

3V0121.1

3V0121.01 Moving Peggy in with Miriam; verbal imitation: 5/23/78; 4;4

On May 23rd, Peggy’s fourth “month-day”, we moved her crib into Miriam’s room. For well over a month, Peggy has been doing without her 10 pm feeding, going to bed between 9 and 10, sleeping through the night and waking without fussing around 7:30-8 am (by which time Miriam has to be heading out for the school bus). We were confident that Peggy would not be a bother to Miriam, nor keep her awake, nor need attention at night (except under extraordinary circumstances). Another motive prompting our action was the observation that Peggy’s lower eyelids appeared slightly red and swollen. It should not be pollen allergy at her age, but we felt the cleaner, air-conditioned environment of Miriam’s room would be good for Peggy. As the week went on, it became clear that Peggy had a cold. Thursday she was a trifle fussy and snorted (?) more breathing. Friday morning was the worst part — dripping nose, sneezes and coughs (the later sounding as though her throat was hoarse), some difficulty breathing while nursing. Yet her appetite was only slightly impaired and her temper remainder cheerful.

Bob was holding her on his lap, trying to keep her amused because she looked so miserable. He reported that at one point he said, “Ha” for no particular reason, with no particular emphasis, and Peggy promptly repeated “Ha”, without any pause for “thinking.” He tried “Ha” again, and again Peggy replied “Ha.”

I have noticed this week that Peggy has suddenly started observing the materials composition tag on her crib bumper. This tag is about 2″x5″ with lots of black lettering. It is fastened to the upper edge in the center to one of the cross pieces of the bumper. When I put Peggy down to change her, I place her on a diagonal with her head up near one corner, so that I can work better (it is too cramped to place her crosswise with her feet facing me). This brings her head quite near the tag, and she began consistently to turn her head to look fixedly at it. A day or so later, she reached out to play with the tag with her fingers, feeling to find out what it was like.

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

3V0125.1

3V0125.01 References for “Three Years and Talking” 05/27/78

In Thursday’s discussion with Mimi Sinclair, I showed her my “lifetime living plan,”. she asked about the work with Peggy, why I should wait until she’s four, I responded, “That’s what I want to talk with you about. She gave us directions (to me, the “us” refers to Gretchen and me) both for experimenting and reading. The reading references are 3. to Laguna and Leopold, for observational focus; and to Marcel Cohan for theoretical focus. We have settled on the following bases of data collection
1.) half hour videotapes every two weeks from 18 weeks to 104 weeks (4 to 24 months).
2.) naturalistic developmental observation with a rough frequency of written notes every two days.
the videotapes will have three sections: proto-conversations; action logic, and sibling play. The most exciting aspect of this project for me is that Gretchen will not merely be involved in it, but that it will be essentially her project. Beyond that, two other factors stand out.

First, I believe we will be asking the right questions: why does it take babies so long to learn to talk when they can do so much in action ?
Secondly, the data collection methodology and interpretation approaches which I have been developing in the Intimate Study seem appropriate with respect to the level of grain necessary to resolve the issue.

Not to pass unmentioned is that how a child learns language is one of the great, unresolved puzzles of our time and a major center of controversy.

Gretchen committed herself to the project yesterday and I spent the day gathering equipment and referenced books. Because Gretchen has no institutional affiliation and the project is not in any way grant supported, we will remain free to terminate it at any point if our best judgment requires that — this is an essential condition for research in the heart of the family. Robby and Miriam have agreed that it should be fun to play with Peggy in the experiment and both are eager to begin.

We will start on Monday, 5/29/78.

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.

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).

3V0138.3

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.

3V0179.1

3V0179.01 Temperament

Peggy is always responsive and cheerful in the morning. For some time now [vide 6/2 entry] she has responded to the sound of “Hello, Peggy” with a big smile, even before lifting her head up to see. It is clear she no longer needs to SEE me to react, and the lifting up of the head and shoulders is rather a preparation for being moved than a verification of my presence.

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.

3V0180.5

3V0180.05 Sounds. Peggy and Bob sing a duet: “Going for a Ride” 07/22/78

Over past days, a week or so, I have bounced Peggy in my lap while singing the song from Sesame Street “we are going for a ride.” At one verse, instead of standard lines such as “and the train goes ‘toot-toot'” i substituted “and the baby goes –” and Peggy completed the verse “/oenh/”. In subsequent singing, she continued to sing her part. Perhaps we can capture this part-singing in tomorrow’s video session.

3V0182.2

3V0182.02 Verbal imitation game: /aen/ 07/23/78

At a late supper, one even less formal than usual and after she had been fed, Peggy entertained us at the table. Somehow a game began, I think between Peggy and me, of specific imitations on variations of a single sound — an aspirated, nasalized short ‘a’ (/oen/). The typical form was this —
1. while maintaining eye contact, Peggy made her sound, then looked at me expectantly

2. I imitated her sound as best I could
3. Peggy smiled broadly.

Subsequently, this procedure was repeated several times with sound simply repeated, drawn out, or doubled. Then I cited to Gretchen that Peggy had definitely begun this game based on my imitating her. Gretchen joined in the imitations — and so did Miriam and Robby. Peggy’s delight was extreme when he[r] sounds led us in chorus to imitation. After a number of iterations, I interjected a different sound /boo/ (one more or less in her repertoire but quite different from /oen/). Robby and Miriam imitated me a few times. Peggy looked quite attentively at us, but she did not join the chorus and I let the game drop.

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.

3V0189.2

3V0189.02 Socialization and the use of Language: /ae……ae/ 7/30

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-story 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 saying a few phrases trying to console her. Then I fell silent. After looking out the windows 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 re-inforces early imputation of person hood to her [sic]). 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 the typical feeding they 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 of this feeding socialization is Peggy’s distractability at feeding. How long has it been now that Peggy stops feeding and looks at the speaker when anyone addresses Gretchen?

3V0200.3

3V2000.03 Change of Babbling Vocabulary; relation of sounds to communication protocols 8/10

The babbling vocabulary is changing. Over past weeks, Peggy’s babbling was dominated by the /b/ sounds (with occasional /m/’s). Gretchen believes that once Peggy commands a consonant, she tries it with various vowels. My recollection of her dominant pattern is this: /bae//b/\//b/\//bwae/. During this week the dominant plosive has been replaced by ‘G’. Thus she is now saying /gae/gae/gae/. This is an opportunity for jokes with Miriam because her friends’ kindergarten imitation of babies was always /goo/goo/gae/gae/.

Which is more important in Peggy’s conversations: imitation of sounds or the recognition of a communication protocol? I believe the latter is — because when Peggy starts to talk (/ae/ae/) it appears not to matter to her what sounds are made by her respondent…as long as they are not so extensive and complexly modulated to suggest speech between competent speakers of the language. [Partially illegible note about the respondent talking to someone else]. The importance of specific imitations noted earlier (cf. 7/23/78) appears to be in making clear that she and I were communication [sic] by turns with each other, i.e. that the succession of sounds was not a random and uncaused verbal response.

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.

3V0205.1

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.

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)?

3V0216.6

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.”

3V0221.2

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.

3V0221.6

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.

3V0233.1

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

EYE CONTACT AND PEEK-A-BOO
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.

3V0233.2

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

3V0233.3

3V0233.03 Understanding the command “No!” 9/12

UNDERSTANDING “NO” — Saturday I sat in my chair trying to write. Gretchen left Peggy on the floor of our bedroom/study while she tended to the wash. Peggy played with the sunlight and shadows made by trees moving beyond the porch and open screen door, then turned her attention to the trash can — a plastic container, about 6 by 8 inches and ten inches high, with a few papers visible at the top. Peggy raised her shoulders on one hand and reached for the lip of the trash can. “Peggy. No.” I interrupted her — and she put her hand down, turning to look at me. She raised her hand a second time. “Peggy. No.” She looked again. Then, still looking at me, she raised her hand toward the lip of the can. “Peggy. No.” After a fourth try came a very surprising response. Peggy asked me a question — one with no words, with only a rising intonation over an indistinct vowel. Was it her /ae/, the vowel of our verbal imitation game? It seemed between that and a shwa. But what did she mean (if anything)? Was it a whimper of frustration? Was it “Why not?” sans words? or “Can’t I, please?” I suspect to her it meant all of these. I said again, “Peggy. No.” She turned away to play with the sunlight and shadow.
After a few minutes Peggy was back at the trash can. Each time as she raised her hand, she stopped when she heard “Peggy. No.” But, after six more tries, I stopped interrupting her. She pulled over the trash can and scattered papers all over the floor.

Since my telling Gretchen that I believe Peggy understands in a limited sense what “NO” means, she has tried to control Peggy with that command — with, I suspect, unrewarding results (“control” here means get her to stop flailing out with eager arms at a spoonful of food as Gretchen tries to feed her).

RELEVANCE – This note continues our establishment of a catalog of words Peggy uses, our attempt to describe their original appearance in the context. I mentioned to Gretchen that we should try introducing to Peggy a distinction between “NO” and “LET BE” — the first to mean “stop what you are doing”, the second to mean “let that thing alone.”

3V0233.5

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.

3V0233.6

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.