3V0306.01 More about pointing; pointing related to sucking: 11/24/78

A few days ago Peggy was chasing Scurry around the kitchen. Using her two forefingers as a probe, she rolled over to Scurry and poked at her nose as the dog backed away. While doing this, Peggy looked at her hand and, studying it, curled up her middle finger.

Peggy continues to point with two fingers of her right hand and suck on the two middle fingers of her left hand. she doesn’t usually suck on her right hand. Gretchen tells me that two days ago she saw Peggy sucking on her right hand – and she was sucking her two forefingers.

Relevance: Peggy’s focus on her forefinger is the kind of incident through [which I] expect a progressive discrimination and control of the digits to gradually develop. It might well be than many children would first segregate a forefinger from the hand-groups, whereas Peggy shows a different parting of the forefingers into two groups of two.

The discrimination of finger sucking patterns and frequency by hand is an observation we will follow. But because Peggy uses the right forefingers as a probe — and we can not claim we saw her with two different sucking patterns before that use began — we can not argue that the sucking pattern preceded probing unless through an analysis of finger sucking incidents in the videotapes.

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