Come Join Me

Delivery Method: 

Amelia reaches up to grasp Kelly’s blanket and gives it a tug. Kelly responds by pulling the blanket closer to her body. Amelia turns her head to the side and makes a couple of loud coos, perhaps to convey her frustration. Carefully observe what Kelly does next. As Amelia continues to look away, Kelly pushes the blanket down toward her feet and within Amelia’s reach (00:05). Although Kelly maintains her grasp on the blanket, notice that she looks at Amelia as if waiting for her to notice (00:11). Amelia catches sight of the blanket and again, reaches to grasp it. For a second time, Kelly pulls the blanket closer to her body (00:14). Amelia turns toward the cameraperson and coos as if to say, “Hey, look what she did” (00:15). Next, Amelia scoots across the floor to a wooden chair that has been turned over. She pats the chair with her hand while looking up at the cameraperson. Amelia then turns her head as if to look at Kelly (off camera), and continues to pat the chair while making sounds (00:30). Amelia may be working to create a shared frame of reference by using an object, the chair, to establish joint attention with others. Watch as she begins to scoot away but then suddenly stops, turns around, and returns to the chair. We know it is challenging for a young child to terminate an action that is already underway so we can speculate that Amelia has something important in mind. Amelia now faces Kelly’s direction (off camera) as she again pats the chair while making a “ba, ba” sound (00:45). Do you think she intends to convey a message to Kelly? And if so, what might she be saying? What does Amelia’s early effort to communicate tell us about her understanding of others? How do the sounds she makes now differ from the ones she used when patting the chair moments earlier? Amelia resumes scooting across the floor until she reaches a second wooden chair (00:54). She climbs in and sits on her bottom but then quickly climbs down and scoots back to the first chair. Amelia again faces Kelly (off camera) and pats the chair as if to say, “Here, this one is for you”. Amelia may hope to strengthen her message by patting the chair more than ten times (00:17). Kelly does not move from the couch. Perhaps she does not interpret Amelia’s gestures as an invitation. Or, perhaps Kelly is not enticed by Amelia’s invitation to sit on the chair because she is already seated comfortably on the couch. Also, recall that the chair is tipped over with the seat facing away from Kelly so it is possible she does not read the wooden object as a chair. When Amelia does not receive the response she anticipated from Kelly, she works to repair her message. Amelia scoots over to the couch, pulls herself up and grasps Kelly’s blanket (01:26). Again, Kelly may assume that Amelia wants to take possession of her blanket, so she withdraws. When Amelia does not release her grip Kelly pulls the blanket out of her hand. Amelia squeals and gazes in the direction of the chairs as if trying to think about another way to communicate her message. Amelia decides to return to the first chair (01:51). She again pats the chair but this time, with less fervor. She then moves her body to the side of the chair (02:02) so that she can look over at Kelly (off camera). For several seconds, notice that Amelia alternates between patting the chair, gazing toward Kelly, and fingering the sunken handles of the chair as if to indicate that she is unsure about what to do next. Perhaps in resignation of her efforts, Amelia moves away and works to seat herself in the second chair. Off camera, we can hear Kelly talking as she approaches (02:59). Amelia excitedly taps her feet on the floor (03:10) before climbing down and quickly scooting over to Kelly. Once again, Amelia reaches for the blanket (03:20) and once again, Kelly moves it away. What is going on here? Do you think Amelia wants the blanket or, does she believe that Kelly is playing a game involving the blanket? Kelly has pulled the blanket away several times now and reasonably, Amelia may experience a sense of rejection so, she decides to explore her other interests in the classroom.

Length of stand-alone master video clip: 4 minutes 3 seconds

Keywords: Ones, Child-Child, Body, Communication, Gestures, Invitation, Non-verbal