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.

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