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Archive with last of tag-string w17

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.

3V0125.2

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

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

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

3V0125.3

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

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

3V0125.4

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

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

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