3V0995.01 Excuses and implausible threats (10/11/80)

Peggy begins now to more frequently offer excuses (as her siblings do
all too often) and even makes threats. She sometimes neglects to
empty her potty into the toilet after shitting. I urged her to do so
today. as she sat on the floor, playing with a bare foot. Instead of
doing as I asked, she responded, “I’m looking for my broken toe.” Her
response could be judged perfectly appropriate if we interpret it to
mean “I hurt my toe. I want to see how badly hurt it is. Let me do this
before I respond to your order.” On the other hand, she had, as I
recall, she had just been PLAYING with her toes and that not very

The fragility of the semantic attachment in the context of Peggy’s more
global intentions is further demonstrated in a threat she offered Robby.
He sat in my easy chair. She wanted him to go away so she could sit
there, first telling him simply to get out and when he refused
fabricating the motive that I wanted to sit in the chair. When Robby
refused again, she offered him a terrible threat and warning, “You’ll get
run over by a car.”

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