Skip to content
Archive with last of tag-string Y4

3V1100.1

3V1100.01 What words mean: example: graphics mean the name of the thing (1/26/81)

After concluding an experiment (P157 I believe), Peggy touched the camera now back in its case.
Pointing to the words on the camera she said, ‘I know what this says.’ ‘What,’ I asked. ‘Camera,’ she replied.

This is a second example (see earlier ‘Walrus’ story at Logo) showing her default expectation is
that any word written on any thing is the common name of that thing.

3V1102.1

3V1102.01 Playing with toys: using animals as manipulatable actors (1/28(81)

Recently Peggy has frequently climbed on my lap after dinner, bringing a small collection
of animal toys with her. Frequently the horses (Calico and Blue Mane) and Gretchen’s old rabbit
and mouse are the main actors.

Peggy takes one animal and gives me another, e.g., ‘Will you be Scurry-baby ?’
When we agreed, the next question from her actor ‘What shall we do now, Scurry Baby ?’
Our actors discuss that, then play hide and seek, or chase, or eat-ice-cream. This particular sort of
relation appears important to Peggy as witnessed by her preference regularly, for playing this game.
Videotape P158 begins with such a game.

3V1103.1

3V1103.01 Peer interactions (1/29/81)

When Peggy was too late to b e enrolled in the North Guilford Nursery School, Gretchen enrolled her in two pre-school library activities. I took Peggy down to the second crafts session, and Miriam asked if she could come. Peggy had a good time at the library but with respect to ‘crafts’ it was a fiasco. One of the mothers brought in materials for cutting and pasting paper flowers. The mothers were having a good time and so was Miriam, but the pre-schoolers had nothing to do. Peggy wandered off while Miriam made flowers. I followed her to the center table where we spent a good amount of time with puzzles. Peggy is surprisingly good at puzzles, even solved a puzzle similar to my Pythagorean proof puzzle (I have seen some adults dumbfounded by it). She did however begin playing on the floor with a set of four connected train cars.

As other children abandoned the crafts table, several came to play on the ramp where Peggy ran her train up and down. A little boy took a car from her, played with it, abandoned it, and Peggy re-attached the car. This was repeated a number of times. The boy’s mother got a little upset, tried to get him to return the toy, which move was a disaster. Peggy did not respond overtly to this. She seemed to accept the boy’s taking of ‘her’ toy — and when he abandoned his claim she reattached the stolen car and went on with her play.

Could it be that she has as yet no well-informed expectations of peer interaction ? Probably she thinks of playing with these others as with Robby and Miriam, but the former are more like herself. She is likely used to Miriam’s taking over, taking things from her, then giving them back.

3V1104.1

3V1104.01 “Gepeters” [computers]: incremental lexicon standardization (1/30/81)

Peggy wants to go to Logo (whatever that means to her) and also asked if she ‘could play with the gepeters at Logo.’ Later, her use slipped into the standard form by first appearing a ‘geputers’ then as ‘computers.’

3V1104.2

3V1104.02 Solla Sollew: just how long is the title ? (1/30(81)

Peggy came to me and asked, ‘Will you read this book (in her hand) about Solla Sollew…(pause) on the banks of the beautiful river Wahoo… where they never have troubles…or at least very few. (Bob suggests she may think this entire spiel is the title.)
Gretchen

3V1105.1

3V1105.01 [I think the Rubic’s cube is Mimi’s, but I’m not sure.] (1/31/81)

no text beyond title.

3V1105.2

3V1105.02 What we observe is not what she intends [Woodstock is patting his tail with the monsters.] (1/31/81)

‘Patting’ is an activity that Peggy knows a lot about. Scurry is her close friend and she pats Scurry every day. She is, in fact, merciless in expressing her affection for the dog who gets no peace at all. But what does ‘patting’ mean to her ? Consider this example.

Peggy at Robby’s place, where he had left a box of metal figurines (characters from his Dungeons and Dragons game). Peggy picked up Woodstock and began saying ‘pat, pat’ as she poked his tail against the figurines in the box. She then explained ‘Woodstock is patting his tail with the monsters.’ From this, we can infer that the tail — which we would see as an instrument — is in her use object and further, that ‘patting’ is a reflexive activity, i.e. it is something one causes to happen to a part of one’s self. I find this bizarre in the extreme.
.

3V1105.3

3V1105.03 Meta-cognitive observations: [I think my jokes are funny.] (late January)

We were driving east on route 1, near Moose Hill Manor. Seeing the ponies of the Diamond M Ranch, Peggy remarked, ‘I want to ride one of those every day.’ I turned to her with shocked surprise, ‘Every day?’ Peggy smiled, ‘I think my jokes are funny.’

confer 3V1105.4; this is most likely a language/social gambit to defuse implicit criticism from me,.

3V1105.4

3V1105.04 Generalized arguments to avoid rejection: [some little kids like candy.] (late January 1981)

For some months now, Peggy has shown a semantically unusual usage. She typically uses “somebody”, “some kids”, “some people” as ways of indirectly expressing her feelings — especially in situations where she may be unsure that a request for something will be met with enthusiasm. For example, knowing that I had a role of Regal Crown candy in my pocket, she came over to me and said, “Some little kids like candy.”

Expressing herself this way protects her from explicit refusal and rejection. It give me the option of asking, “Would you like some candy ?” (which I did and to which she gleefully responded) or of indirectly rejecting an implicit request.
We need more example of this usage and its varieties.

3V1109.1

3V1109.01 Peer avoidance at story hour (2/4/81)

The story hour began later than Crafts. I took Peggy to the first session, since we were departing from there directly to Boston. We arrived late and Peggy was unwilling to join the other children. So I sat on the floor near them while Debbie Rutter told stories, etc. .
I tried gradually to draw Peggy into the circle, first getting her to sit close to me, then on my lap, then closer to the children, but she was reluctant. When they all rose to conclude the session with ring around the rosie, Peggy took the opportunity to drop back and to drop out..

— note of 2-15 : Gretchen tells me that at the second story hour, Peggy stood in the corner and refused to join the group. Also, she has taken her out of crafts because she seemed to get nothing out of it — except another library trip. That is, at the first opportunity, Peggy abandoned the crafts to make her typical selection of library books.
.

3V1109.2

3V1109.02 Trip to Logo: typical stories (2/14-15/81)

Peggy, Robby and I went to MIT after story hour. Danny Moore came to the lab late in the afternoon and I tended Peggy while Robby played with him. What I recall of this time is that Peggy and I went to DSRE for my Spencer Foundation letter, spent a few minutes in Andy’s office till Robby was free (we played with tinker toys — that is, Peggy did, making ‘things’ for me while I looked over my letters and so forth. for a while, Peggy played at the typewriter in my office (The effect of this is shown most clearly in VT P160.)

Robby wanted much more to do other things than care for Peggy, for example read comic books or play adventure on the Apple. Later in the evening, I found him doing so and asked Peggy how she liked it. ‘It’s terrible.’ was her comment.

That evening, back at Mrs. Tack’s, as I was climbing into bed, Peggy asked if she could tell me the story about the Pig family. I agreed and she began. Once upon a time, there were three little pigs and they lived in a house in the woods. There was Mommy Pig and Daddy Pig and Robby Pig and Mimi Pig and Peggy Pig — oh, oh — Peggy Piggy, I never heard of that.’ (This last is an idiom for Peggy pointing out the outlandish quality of Peggy Piggy.) The next day, my most common remote sight was of the two playing near but separately in the Childrens Learning Laboratory. Several times I saw them lolling together in a couple bean bag chairs. Later Robby told me what they were doing — telling stories. this is typical of his :
‘Once upon a time, a little girl in a red coat was walking through the woods. A big wolf came up and wanted to eat her, so she pulled out her machine gun and cut him down. The end.’

He reported this variation on the Pig Family Story (the only one Peggy told ) :
Once upon a time, the Pig family lived in the woods. there was a Mommy and a Daddy Pig and three children : Flopsy, Cottontail, and Peter. It was bedtime. They went up and up and up and up and up and up and up the stairs and went to bed.

During the afternoon, we went to the Children’s Museum while Robby played with the computers at Logo. Peggy slid about on the giant’s telephone, drove the car, slid down the slide of the infant’s castle — found a ring tower toy and put it together directly. She most remembered — indeed asked to go upstairs to see — the traffic light. On the floor above, she found little to interest her in the computers, but did play with a set of mirror-enclosed, plastic chips. She did a quick tour of the doll houses. Following more play with the wonderful waterfull, toy trains, and the giant’s desk, we rode the subway back to Tech Square. Peggy and I both had a delightful time. A little more work, and we left for home. Peggy slept during the entire trip.

note : 2/15/81 Since then, Peggy has pestered Robby to tell her stories… he does so with even less detail than the sample above.

3V1115.1

3V111501 Metalinguisticc questions: “How do you spell —– ?” (2/10/81)

I was doing some work in the kitchen when Peggy came up and asked right out of the blue, ‘How do you spell cup ?’ then she went through a whole string of words one after another, and ‘How do you spell eyes ?’ ‘How do you spell …. ?’ Some words she wanted spelled : eyebrows, nose, wood, choir.

3V1120.1

3V1120.01 Peggy’s invented games: extensive notes on animal play (2/15/81)

For the past week or more, Peggy and I have played together in a way that appears very important to her. that is, she is really hurt if I am unwilling to play. Last night she was unwilling to stop — without tears — only when I agreed to go up to bed and read ‘Lucky Luke’ to her. Of what does this play consist ?
We sit together in my large chair, my dust cover wrapped about us both to keep warm, and play with Peggy’s toy animals (usually in number between two and six). Peggy usually claims one role and asks me to assume another. She has only rarely taken on more than one role herself (but has done so). The primary element is ‘What do you want to do now, X ?^’ She repeats this distressingly frequently — so much so one of my main challenges has become to push the burden of questions back on her by responding ‘I don’t know, what do YOU want to do ?’ and so forth. I believe this question appears so frequently because the limited number and length of Peggy’s play scripts. Let me try to detail a few of them.
Eating Ice Cream : beginning
1. Let’s eat ice cream. 2. concurrence
1. movements away from and back to 2. no action
second critter, accompanied by a…
typical action word specification :
‘Get…get…get’
1. leaning over the ice-cream with 2.. same
dialogue : ‘gobble, gobble….and
even slurp.’

Jumping on the Head
Beginning – end : One critter jumps on the head of another accompanied by the sounds /giu/ (gjew).

Going for a Ride
beginning : Peggy plays both roles, the rider can be any critter. The mount is usually one of two horses, the calico (or Blue Mane) but can be any large animal. The rider (1) asks if it can go for a ride. (2) The mount agrees. They bounce about together for a short time.

Hiding :
I ask Peggy ‘What do you want to do now ?’
1. She sneaks her animal up my arm, hides it behind my neck, and giggles.
2. She whips it over the arm of the chair.
3. She secrets it under the dust cover
In each case, my animal wanders about the chair calling for the other. (The game can be played with roles reversed.)

3V1120.2

3V112002 Squirting (skunks; rabbits squirt with their ears.) (2/15/81)

Peggy has a skunk… it attacks other animals by SQUIRTING them with its tail. (Does this show the influences of Robby, Miriam ?) Squirting is NOT limited to the skunk. Most other animals also squirt from tails. An exception is the rabbit. It has a button tail — so it squirts with its EARS ! !

I will try to describe other such scripts as I observe them. The general impression I have is that the behavior in all these games has roots in such simple scripts or in surface features of the particular toys — I have no examples at hand. I need to note one when next observed.

3V1122.1

3V112201 Same vs. Different: different animals, same activities (2/17/81)

Peggy sat in my lap, playing her animal game (see examples in videotape, e.g. P162). I tired of it and she volunteered, ‘I know…let’s play a different game.’ I agreed enthusiastically, so she got from her toy box two different animals, sat in my lap and asked, ‘What do you want to do now, animal-name ?’ I asked, ‘Is this a different game or the same game ?’ she responded, ‘A different game.’… but it proved not so.

3V1124.1

3V112401 Singing: quiet activities of self-construction (2/19)81)

Peggy’s repertoire of songs is sometimes surprising. On her recent trip to Boston with Robby, I found she knew a bit of ‘The cat came back’ (A song I know not but Robby does know, perhaps from a Disney program).

This afternoon, Peggy sat singing quietly to herself on the couch, ‘Oh dear, what can the matter be’ and ‘I want my shirt’ – the latter from the Marx’s Brothers’ movie ‘Coconuts’ (which she has never seen) was modified to ‘I want my Mimi.’ The former song was the more interesting because it has a story line, which Peggy got right, even though she has no regular melody (what appeared was just a varying pitch) and no regular, complete surface text. That is, she made up the ‘song’ out of its story elements and fragments of text such as ‘what is the matter’ and ‘at the fair’ (to her, this is probably Jacob’s Beach).

This is an example, not surprising in itself, of how Peggy’s mind is active, amusing herself, in quiet constructive ways.

3V1133.1

3V113301 A Gymnastic Show (2/28(81)

Miriam went on-stage with the other tumbling kids of the Dutch Gymnastics School. The show began with ‘The Little Rascals’ — the youngest class — marching around and exercising in time (more or less) to directive songs. Peggy found that worth watching, but when they finished she said, ‘I think it’s time to go, now.’ This was after 15 minutes. The show continued for several hours more.

Peggy was very ‘good.’ I had had the forethought to bring a Peter Rabbit book and a set of plastic keys she played with as a baby. She spent the time clambering in and out of her seat (one of the automatically folding variety) and laps. And she played with the keys a game I invented — unlocking the fingers of my hand. A few times she got restless, wandered down the aisle and up to the back then returned. Only late in the evening, at the end of the show, did she nearly escape. I captured her and she turned cranky. What is so surprising is that she could be so well distracted so simply — if my paying attention to her can be considered a simple distraction.

The next day Peggy began doing rollovers by herself on the mattress in the basement (at first, with Miriam’s help and guidance).

3V1135.1

3V113501 The Animal Game (3/2/81)

Peggy has extended her animal game to others… Miriam specifically. I have heard Peggy asking her to play as they sat on the floor near the stove and then the perennial question, ‘What do you want to do now ?’

3V1135.2

3V113502 Daddy dum dum (3/2/81)

Peggy frequently sings “the Fox” while we are driving down Goose Lane to Gymnastics. (Come to think of it, that is the only time she has been singing that song of late.) This time, she finished and continued vaguely da-de-da-de-de-da… until apparently accidentally she sang da-de-dum-dum… After a brief intake of air, this became “Daddy is a dum dum, Daddy is a dum dum.”
As we approached the turnpike, Miriam instructed Peggy that the appropriate place for such a chant was as we passed beneath the bridge. Peggy inquired, “Bridge?” By the time she realized what was meant, however, the “opportunity” was past.
Gretchen

3V1136.1

3V113601 Imperfectly articulated script: [Which hand ? This one ?] (3/3/81)

‘Which hand ?’ This question is one Peggy meets when she asks Robby or Miriam for something she knows they have (usually candy). Today, she came running up to my chair at the table and asked, ‘Which hand is the Rubic’s cube in ? This one ?’ — holding the cube high above her head (as she brought it out from behind her back) with a great big smile.
This is another example of another imperfectly articulated script.

3V1139.1

3V1139.01 Advance in articulation: [Which hands is it now ?] (3/6/81)

Peggy came running up to me and asked me ‘Which hand is it in now ?’ She continued immediately, ‘This one ?’ (Pointing to her right hand with her left). This question and gestures is a significant advance over that of 3/3/81 because she keeps the object (her bear in this incident) hidden behind her back.
I have no further information about how the advance was made.

3V1140.1

3V1140.01 Letter names as entities separated from signifiers of people (3/7/81)

Peggy brought me the ‘F’ from her set of letters. She asked if it were the letter ‘A’. When I said ‘No,’ she next guessed the letter name ‘E’ (She knows this, of course, is the ‘father letter.’) I told her it was the letter ‘F’ and described to her the letter ‘E’, which she then located in her letter tray.
Peggy is beginning to focus on letters as namable entities, independent of their semantic associations — i.e. as symbolic objects.
Note : this is after her use of a typewriter.

3V1141.1

3V1141.01 French: [I can speak French – “Cat twank” ] (3/8/81)

I asked Miriam how her French is coming. She replied, ‘Comment allez-vous ?’ ‘Tres bien, merci, et vous ?’ I answered. Miriam could not continue. We mentioned ‘French’ several times during the conversation. Peggy, who had been sitting there piped up, ‘I can speak French…(we all looked at her)… cat twank.’

This phrase, which Peggy classed as French and reproduced, is ‘Four, five’, ie. ‘quatre, cinq.’ She heard this part of the number name list in the content of the joke, often repeated, about three cats, ‘un, deux, et trois’ who went for a walk on the icy lake with the result that ‘un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq.’

A day or so later, Peggy gave a second example of French, and I quote ‘Woof, boogle, jig… that’s how I spell French.’ The phrase comes from the song in the W. C. Fields movie ‘Million Dollar Legs’, occasionally sung in our house. Notable here is the classification of the nonsense jingle as ‘French’, also is Peggy’s application of the word ‘spell.’ this brings up the enormous difficulty in understanding what she says because we don’t know what SHE might mean by what she says… not unless we have a rich historical corpus of lucid examples of meaning.

3V1145.1

3V1145.01 What does spelling mean to Peggy ? [“How do you spell ‘boat’ ?”] (3/12/81)

‘How do you spell ‘boat’ ?’ Peggy asked me. I responded to her question as if she meant what any adult would mean. After a pause, smiling, Peggy said (roughly), ‘That’s what I thought…. I can do it myself.’ (She can not, obviously.)

What did Peggy mean by her question ? I don’t know any way of telling for certain… but we can make these speculations. ‘Spelling’ a word means (vaguely) producing some string of sounds ‘associated’ with the word but bearing no semantic relation to it. (Thus ‘woof boogle jig’ spells French as ‘b’, ‘o’, ‘a’, ‘t’ spells ‘boat.’)

Relevance : such is not a bad signification for ‘spell’ precisely because it represents the arbitrary relation between the meaningful word and non-meaningful sequence of (as yet unknown) letters-name sounds.

3V1146.1

3V1146.01 Dead flowers: [They been shot.] (3/13/81)

A warm day, the family outside working in the garden. Peggy picked up some dried flowers, brought them inside and asked me to put them in a vase. I refused to do so, avoiding a confrontation by evading her request. Outside later, Peggy again mentioned her flowers. I told her I had not put them in the vase because they were dead. Peggy remarked, ‘ ’cause they’ve been shot.’ I asked for confirmation ‘ ‘Cause they’ve been shot ?’ Peggy was certain.. ‘Yes.’ ‘Who shot them ? ‘ I asked. ‘They been shot,’ she repeated. ‘Who shot them ?’ She changed her mind, ‘They’re not dead.’

‘Dead’ and ‘Shot’ are intimately connected in meaning for Peggy, but how ? Does ‘Shot’ mean ‘having caused to be dead’ ? Or does ‘dead’ mean ‘the consequences of being shot’ ? The prominence of these words for Peggy comes from her play with Robby who often plays noisy and active shooting games. Peggy runs around during the game : Robby and Miriam shoot her and each other. They hide and Peggy shoots them. The cooperative elements of the game requires the victim’s excessively histrionic death (i.e. collapse and lying still). in turn, the perpetrator then shoots the victim again, saying ‘bang. I shot you back to life.’ Peggy’s meanings for those words come out of this idiosyncratic game. She uses them as currency in trading conversation, but there can be no way those words have an immediate and simple relation to the ideas adults usually associate with them.

3V1146.2

3V1146.02 Dancing and whooping: a new script for animal play (3/13/81)

Last night after supper, Peggy brought her collection of toys. Our new Chieftains record was playing, so when Peggy (as BearHug) asked me (as Pink Panther) ‘What do you want to do now ?’ I answered, ‘I want to dance’ and began bouncing the panther from one foot to another — and letting out a whoop at a suitable period in the piece (probably ‘Merrily Kiss the Quaker’).

This evening, Peggy added a new game script to her repertoire of games for playing with toy animals… dancing with occasional random whooping.

3V1146.3

3V114603 Dancing: we need to document her interest and activity (3/13/81)

This is an activity of Peggy’s needing extensive observation and comment. It is obviously important to her, something she enjoys, and something she does a lot.
.

3V1147.1

3V1147.01 Letter H: “Is this for jump ?” (3/14/81)

‘Is this for ‘jump’ ?’ Peggy asked, bringing me the letter ‘H’ from her set on the floor. I explained that ‘H’ was for ‘Happy.’ (maybe I should have said for ‘Hop’ — but would she recognize that as different from ‘jump’ ?) The letter names H and J were introduced casually during VT session 163.

3V1148.1

3V1148.01 “Tendy” (3/15/81)

While working on dinner in the kitchen amidst a circus of children, I suddenly heard out of the chaos Peggy counting, ‘eighty, ninety, tendy, eleven…’. She trailed off there, perhaps having said ‘eleventy.’
Gretchen

3V1149.1

3V1149.01 Drawing on Peggy: drawing on her arms and more (3/16/81)

When she asked me to draw on her hand this evening, I made a little heart that said, “Dad” (she asked on my beginning with “D” if it said “Daddy”) and “Peg” which she figured was “Peggy”). Upon presentation of the other hand, I decided on a more elaborate drawing — and made a four petaled red flower (like the dogwood in shape) with green stem and leaves.
Peggy rolled up her sleeve and said “it tickles.” I asked if she could help me draw a face. She agreed. I made a large circle. “Eyes,” she said. “How many ?” I asked. “Two,” came the quick reply. “And what else ?” I inquired, expecting to hear about a nose and mouth. “Eyebrows and hair.” I drew in eyebrows, slanting down over the eyes, and a crew-cut pad of red. “He looks mad” was Peggy’s opinion, so I tried to make him happy. “Shall I draw a big smile then?” I did so. “What else ?” (I was again fishing for a nose. Peggy pointed at the chin. (I drew in a nose.) What else should he have?” I asked again, and she was more specific, “He needs legs.” I drew one chicken-foot and at her request, another, then another and a final one raise somewhat in the air, as below:

*** insert picture here ***

Peggy made an “eating at a single gulp” noise. “What’s he taste like?” I Asked, expecting something egg-or-chicken-like as an answer. “Monster” was the reply.

The flower and monster were the only shapes beside hearts that have been drawn on Peggy. I note them to document the beginnings of her drawing development (must re-collect the drawings on Greg’s walls at Logo.)

3V1150.1

3V1150.01 A Tricycle at last: lost observation opportunity (3/17/81)

I wanted to buy one for Peggy’s third birthday but (even on sale) the prices were too high and the quality of the bikes too low for purchase. Today — some eight weeks later — I saw an ad selling a tricycle for 10 dollars. We trekked out to Madison. Peggy tried the tricycle and said, ‘I think we should.’ She did not know how to pedal or how to steer.

The older children were terribly obtrusive, wanting to demonstrate how to pedal, for instance, and also shaping Peggy’s behavior by pushing the bike forward and back thus ‘showing’ Peggy that the pedals had to go around whenever translation occurred. I told the children, especially Miriam, to let Peggy ‘Do it herself.’

Down in the basement, this afternoon, I don’t know what happened. Peggy now drives and steers competently. I can ask Robby and Miriam… but my sense of the situation is we’ve lost a possibly valuable example of physical skills learning through not being sufficiently observant at a critical time.

3V1152.1

3V1152.01 Letters: [N…G…Y.. spell N…G…Y…spell?] (3/19/81)

Peggy commenting to herself. A few letters, the ‘…N…G…Y spell… N…G…Y…spell. ?
Gretchen.

3V1152.2

3V1152.02 More names of French numbers: [Cat…twank] (3/19/81)

Peggy talking to herself again. I heard a recognizable ‘Tra…cat..twank’ followed by what seemed to me to be reproductions of higher French numbers (around eleven to fourteen) which Miriam and I had discussed earlier.
Gretchen

3V1153.1

3V1153.01 Peggy volunteers a spelling: letters instead of words (3/23/81)

Miriam worked on her school work in the dining room, writing a composition. She called out to her mother , “How do you spell ‘couples’?” Peggy volunteered an answer, “L, N, G, P, L.” While Gretchen supplied a more nearly standard one. A few seconds later, Peggy came up to me, “I know how to spell ‘tree’, ” and then continued with her spelling, “L, N, G, P, L.”

Relevance: Here we see Peggy refining her idea of what it means to spell a word. We have letters instead of “Woof boogle jig.” She showed no concern that both words were spelled with the same letters and none at the arbitrariness of the letters assigned.

3V1155.1

3V1155.01 Cuisenaire rods: playing with them after experiments (3/22/81)

Guessing games
Peggy had used Cuisenaire rods in the immediately previous videotape. Somehow she got hold of them again and I became aware that she was laying them out [Bob had, I think, tried to see if she would build a “stair.”] As she did so, she ran her finger along and chanted, “They get smaller,,, they get tinier…they get bigger…”
Gretchen

3V1155.2

3V1155.02 Auxiliary introduced in non-std. way: “Should” ( 3/22/81)

Peggy has been using the verb form “should” as an inquiry “Should I have cereal?” “Should you help me get dressed?”
She does this where you expect her to say “can” or “will”.
Gretchen

3V1155.3

3V1155.03 New question form during March and April: [Can we x — yes or no ?] ( 3/22/81)

Peggy has a habit of posing a question and demanding an immediate answer. “Can we go for a walk ? Yes or no?”
Almost every question is accompanied by this insistence.
Gretchen.

3V1156.1

3V1156.01 Spelling a word: “B-E-R” for bear, from “BearHug”

Peggy sat on the floor by her typewriter. She looked up at me and said, ‘I spelled ‘Bear’.’ when I asked her how, Peggy pressed in sequence the letters, ‘B’, ‘E’, & ‘R’. I asked how she knew to spell Bear that way, but she did not answer. Note, however, that her favorite toy animal ‘BearHug’ lay on the floor next to her and has his name printed on his shirt.

Peggy’s assumption that words on things are their names is borne out in this case and it permitted her a breakthrough, the first expression of a name as a sequence of letters instead of a single token symbol.

3V1160.1

3V1160.01 Imperfectly articulated Guessing Games (3/27/81)

While we were at dinner, Peggy came running around the table, behind Robby’s chair, waving her BearHug. She said, “You’ll never guess what’s behind my back.” Non-committally, I responded, “I won’t.” Peggy said, “It will be a bear,” then hid the bear.

3V1160.2

3V1160.02 Subject and aspect: repetition expresses continued activity (3/27/81)

Peggy is very vocal and most frequently describes verbally her action. The subject of her verbal predicates is usually herself and most often is “understood.” Today she ran through the kitchen, with her BearHug, putting him through actions. She said (manipulating him the while) “Run after. Run after. Try to tag. Try to tag. Roll over. Roll over.”

Clearly the omitted subject of these predicates was BearHug. Also striking is her apparent use of single case repetition to express continuing aspect of the repeated physical actions she put the bear through.

3V1162.1

3V1162.02 Not quite right, even yet: “By” in Hop on Pop (3/29/81)

Peggy offered to read ‘Hop on Pop’ to me and began with the title. Pointing to the word “HOP” (alone on the top line) she said, “Hop on Pop.” Pointing next to “ON” (alone on middle line) she continued her reading as “by” (for “on”) then concluded with the bottom line as “Hop on Pop on Pop.”

original ID 3V1162.02; look for a lost record; if none found, declare this an error.

3V1169.1

3V1169.01 Recognizing “By” in another context: Asterix book (4/5/81)

Peggy asked me to read “Asterix in Britain.” On page 6 (bottom) there appears a balloon with “Attack by Juno” in large capitals. As I was reading near the top of the page, Peggy pointed to “BY” and said, “That says ‘BY’.”

Now it appears that all (?) two letter words (sandwiched between larger words on separate lines) are read as “BY” — we want to see if other small words (1 & 3 letters) will be denied to be “BY” and if other two letter words alone will be recognized, rejects as “BY” (not sandwiched) and whether other sandwiched words will be all identified as “BY”. Experiment for P167.

3V1170.1

3V1170.01 Reflexive pronoun means symmetrical directed action: “The guys are killing themselves” (we would say “each other”.) (4/5/81)

Peggy noted as she banged the Fischer-Price dolls against each other. That is, she uses the reflexive pronoun to describe symmetrical directed action.

3V1171.1

3V1171.01 Letter names versus Meanings: now even “the mommy letter” is blind coded.(4/7/81)

In the last experiment, P167, Peggy made a distinction I have observed otherwheres since. When asked the name of any letter, she would reply “D”, no matter what the letter was, no matter what meaning it had for her. For example, she called “G” “D” even though “G” means Gretchen. Where once she referred to it as “the Mommy letter,” she now attempts, albeit erroneously, to assign the culture’s “blind-coded” names.

3V1171.2

3V1171.02 Letter roller: compared to Rubic’s cube (4/7/81)

Peggy has played with Rubic’s cube for several weeks, first destroying the complete pattern by a single or double twist, then “fixing” the cube by reversing the operation — uniformly with great pride and delight. We, of course, applauded her efforts. This was not at all surprising in P167 that Peggy took the letter roller and rotated the letters, then returned to the original word.

She continued to play with the device for a couple days after P167, then it dropped from currency. I intend to purchase one with capitals instead of the lower case letters.

3V1171.3

3V1171.03 Counting in French: “Quatorze” (+ dog) (4/7/81)

Peggy counts in French, which to her is “spelling”, i.e. reciting a list of non-sense sounds as an amplification or explication of something about a meaningful (?) work[d?]. Beginning with “/cat//twank/”, Peggy has picked up “/cat//torze/” (single word, no caesura) from Miriam’s recitations — partly offered as a humorous correction. But this evening at supper, “spelling French” she began “/cat/twank/…/cat/torze/…” As we all smiled, looking at her, wondering what next, Peggy knew she was expected to continue, as she did “/cat/torze/…/dog/….” at which our laughter permitted her to join us in the joke and escape our expectations of her going on.

Calling on a principle to extend a performance. The basic type is semantic, as opposed, for example, to phonetic variation. The particular choice is opposite (dog from cat fits requirement for something different) with similar type, e.g. small domestic animal. A nice solution, inappropriate by cultural accident.
.

3V1173.1

3V1173.01 Typing “Bear” variously as “BAER” and “BERA” (4/9/81)

Peggy sat playing quietly with her typewriter a few feet from where I was working. I don’t recall that her BearHug was with her, but it may have been (and probably was). She typed in sequence the following, with a significant pause between each: B, A, E, R; and B, E, R, A.

3V1179.1

3V1179.01 Counting Plates with numbers in various ranges (4/15/81)

Peggy loves to help empty the dishwasher. After stacking the small plates on the shelves, she began counting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, etc…18… She continued from stack to stack, using ‘big’ numbers as well, “eighty, ninety, tendy” repeating them as well as smaller numbers and in no obvious order. After getting up, she announced to the world, “I counted all the plates.” — as she had done in her terms by assigning a number name to each item (mauger the lack of order and repetition of tokens).
What does Peggy have to learn about number?
1. use each number name once only.
2. use the number names in a fixed order.
Let’s observe closely how she picks up these ideas — not pushing them on her… but focusing on her natural learning of them, probing some in videotape experiments but not too much otherwheres.

3V1181.1

3V1181.01 Blocks microworld: “Clever little blocks” (4/17/81)

Peggy was introduced to computers with P168 and P169. We talked a little today about what she was doing with the computer upstairs. She replied that she was “making the blocks walk.” I asked if she was able to make the blocks turn yet. She replied, “No, they turn themselves.” (they turn 180 degrees by demon intervention at screen edge.) When I asked her why (fishing for her recall of the anthropomorphic metaphor, of their turning around when they encounter a wall) she answered, “They’re clever little blocks.”

Besides being true, Peggy’s observation is interesting because she is applying to these computational objects the label “clever” which she has recently applied with clear pride and self-congratulation (applied) to herself. These past few weeks, it has been clearly important to Peggy that she calls herself
“clever.” Frequently, when she has done something we approve of or find amusing, we say, “You’re a clever little rabbit,” oftimes accompanied by a hug or some other expression of affection. The expression comes by paraphrase from a nonsense verse of Walt Kelly’s”
“See the rabbits in the wood
..Eating porridge as they should…
…..Those clever little bunnies….”
Another example of Peggy’s feeling for the computer arose when I decided to bring it downstairs (to free up a table for working on my chain saw.) She pestered me a little, “When are you going to bring down the beautiful computer?”

3V1181.2

3V1181.02 Anything can represent anything: Forks and Bottlecaps (4/17/81)

Anything can represent anything. Sitting in the chair beside [me] at the end of supper this evening, Peggy began playing with a dinner fork and a cake fork (the smaller of the two). They became me and her, going for a ride in the car. The little fork said, “I’ll sit behind Daddy,” which Peggy often does, then stands in back of and between the two front seats of the car so we can easily talk to each other while I drive). I can’t remember what all she did, but for me one extreme moment was when Peggy[‘s] bottle cap fell off the table. She picked it up off my chair with her toes (she had by then migrated into my lap) and the bottle cap began complaining about being knocked down.