Home Sociology Infant Observation: Creating Transformative Relationships
Chloe at eighteen weeks
Chloe unsuccessfully tried to get her mother's attention, turning towards Mother and "talking" to her, but Mother didn't seem to realise. It was painful for the observer watching as Chloe then raised her feet and banged them on the carpet hard, even though Mother had already walked past, and she then banged her feet a few more times. Later during that observation, Mother was serving dinner to the older children, put Chloe on the floor and put a toy arch over her and gave her a dummy, and then said to the observer, "I know what you're thinking, that I just want to switch off the noise, but I know that I can't give her proper attention now, but will give her proper time once the others are in bed."
Chloe at about forty-four weeks
Chloe was able to play and interact more but she was playful only with people who she had learnt would respond to her. When her brother and sisters turned buttons on a farm game and music begun to play, Chloe became extremely excited and shrieked loudly with delight. She sat up with her left foot sticking forward, and sitting on her right foot, and rocked back and forth with a smile of satisfaction on her face and a glint in her eyes. The contrast between her interactions with her siblings and with her parents was stark. Her parents were most definitely sensitive and thoughtful, and the children were happy and very well cared for, but the parents simply did not see it as an adult's job to interact playfully with their children.
A few weeks later at a year old, Chloe was sitting in her booster chair, unsmiling. Mother came in with the other two children, and Father went into the kitchen and came back, carrying a pizza box that Mother had bought. The two older ones sat on chairs around the table. Mother tied a towel bib around Chloe and she immediately cried, turned her head to her left hand side, pushed her feet against the underneath part of the booster tray, and gave long drawn-out moans. Her sister Shelley got off her chair and stood next to Chloe and said, "Ahhhh, ahhhh” to comfort her and at the same time put her arms around her and patted her stomach, chest and back. This seemed to sooth her. Chloe then put her pointing finger into her mouth and sucked on it, soothing herself.
She seemed rather forlorn and forgotten. When Father entered with a bowl of chips, Chloe looked up expectantly at the chips, and watched whilst they were given to her sisters. This often happened at mealtimes and contrasted with the lively time she had playing with her brother and sister.
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