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Archive with last of tag-string W61


3V0429.01 Stair gate: extends her horizon. (3/27/79)

We have long had a stair gate at the bottom of the flight to our second
storey. I put it up at first to keep Scurry downstairs (for Miriam’s
sake) but knew also that we want to keep Peggy from climbing
unattended. While I have worked at my thesis, all too frequently
Gretchen has left Peggy in our bedroom, the door closing her in with
me while she is washing laundry and so forth. Gretchen’s purpose was
clearly to prevent Peggy falling from the top of the stair flight down.
finally, I mounted a second baby gate at the stair top.

The effect of the gate for Peggy has been a vast widening of her
accessible horizon. Now no longer [confined] to my bedroom, she wanders about
the second storey — out in the hall, into the bathroom, into the water
closet, into the room she shares with Miriam — and returns with booty
from her journeys. the only problem so far from her new found
freedom was a scare that she was sick because of eating some soap
(this possibility was pure speculation). Not so. Peggy has been feeling
out of sorts for a few days with a low fever — probably from a minor


3V0432.01 First example of symbolic thought: “doll-up” for herself (3/30/79)

Miriam has been making fantastic figures by cutting out paper. She
displays them by taping them up below my mantle motto at the second
story fireplace. Peggy caught sight of them and wanted to ‘see’ them.
She indicates this by a high pitched noise of delight //\/ and pointing,
with as many repetitions as necessary. When I carried her up to the
gallery of cutouts, Peggy was especially interest[ed] in the cutout of a
small person with a bow in her hair (the other figures appeared to be
more like hairy critters from some Dr. Seuss book). I gave it to her.
For some time, 2 days, Peggy has wandered about with the cutout doll
in her hand, dropping and neglecting it for a while but later picking it
up again.

Many times, Peggy has brought the cutout doll to me, made her
‘delight’ noise, and set [it] on my knee. My typical response has been
to pick it up, examine it, make some comment and hand it back to her.
Often this has angered or frustrated Peggy. I finally understood when
she began repeating this sequence with Foxy. (Here too my response
was to pick it up, pet it and give it back.) Peggy wanted me to pick her
up; she was using favorite objects to represent herself in
communicating to me what she wanted.

How do I know that’s true? I can’t be certain. Even with the difference
between her delight and frustration, [it] is not an adequate sign because
[she] would be happy to be picked up even if it were only my idea and
not hers. Claiming that Peggy uses a token for herself is thus
imputation — but an important one.

Relevance — If my interpretation is correct, this is the first incident
wherein I have witnessed symbolic thought. It is distinct from simple
naming in that here one object stands for and is operated on as a
representative of the referent. If Peggy is thinking symbolically NOW,
the use of language when it emerges later will be seen as an extension
of symbolic relations already in place.


3V0432.02 Foxy Robin Hood: classification. (3/30/79)

Peggy has been playing much of late with Miriam’s stuffed toy fox,
called “Foxy.” Peggy carries the toy about by the ear, pets it as she tries
to do with Scurry. (Has she compared it yet to our pictures in the living
room ? I’m not certain.) Yesterday Peggy sat on the floor in front of
her dresser (which is in my bedroom because of Miriam’s allergies)
pointing to a decal on the bottom drawer, in an attempt to point it out
to Miriam. Today it became clear why. The decal is one of Robin Hood
— but the picture is of a Red Fox in a green suit with a bow and arrow.
Peggy hauled Foxy over to the dresser. then talking only to herself but
with the same delighted tones of yesterday’s talk with Miriam, Peggy
pointed first at Robin then at Foxy, then repeated her pointing and her


3V0432.03 Problem solving: bad bugs; insensitivity to the “obvious” (3/30/79)

Problem solving: bad bugs; insensitivity to the “obvious” (3/30/79) |
One of those many times she has sat in my lap, Peggy began trying to
uncap pens. (She has seen me put the cap on firmly many times, so
that when she put them in my pockets or took them out she would not
get ink all over). she succeeded with various bic pens and today she
tackled a black (?) Flash pen. This plastic pen has a metal ring and a
pocket clip and a white/gray circle at the top of the cap on the end.
Peggy succeeded in separating the cap from the pen. I put the cap back
on to avoid our both getting covered with black ink. Peggy removed
the cap. she began then trying to replace the cap, holding the pen in
her right hand and the cap in her left.

Peggy had a lot of trouble. She managed quite well inserting the pen in
the cap hole. BUT without good alignment, the pen would not go in
very far. She pressed harder. She removed the end and tried again.
After several tries, her persistence coupled with luck to permit the pen
insertion. She repeated the action five to ten times, refining her action
so that he re-insertions were quicker and more sure than the original
process. Somehow, the pen and the cap changed hands.

Peggy tried capping the pen with the cap in her right hand. She could
not do it. The reason is more surprising than the fact. The cap had
been turned around and she persisted in trying to insert the pen
through the white circle on the top of the cap. Can she not, does she
not distinguish a hole (whose appearance is black and round) from that
decorative circle (whose appearance is white and round)? The other
obvious common feature is that both are on the end of a cylinder.
If this is a discrimination failure, is the problem some non-salience of
color ? (Hard to believe.) Is it the complexity of three intersecting
features (being round, on a cylinder, and of different colors) ?
Perhaps it is not a discrimination failure but one of ignorance, i.e.
Peggy does not know that a covered hole prohibits insertion.


Peggy Study, Panel P061

Themes: Playing with Scurry (the dog), Reading with Mom, Standard Objects
Source: (Lawler); date: 3/26/1979

Text commentary: These clips show Scurry as companion;GPL and Bob supporting Peg’s explorations & sometimes instructing.

P61A Playing with Scurry, 27mb

P61B1 Reading w/GPL, 22mb

P61B2 Seizing Letters, 10mb

P61B3 Back to Reading, 24mb

P61C1 Standard Objects, 27mb

P61C2 Standard Objects, 14mb

P61C3 Standard Objects, 19mb