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Archive with last of tag-string W02


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.)


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.


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.