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Between Terror and Trust: Patterns of Parent-Infant Communication in Play
Unformatted Document Text:  The finger-eating scene: The finger-eating scene began when Guido made funny animal-like sounds while finishing feeding dinner to his daughter Rachel. She watched him with no interruption as he made growling sounds, shaking his head from side to side as an animal would do while tearing a piece of meat. Then she initiated the game by spontaneously touching Guido’s nose but being actually interested in his mouth. Guido “understood” Rachel’s intent, opened his mouth and gently took her finger in it. When Rachel took her finger out, he waited for her next move. When he saw that she was still interested in the game and kept her finger outstretched towards his mouth, he started again. He made a scary face – opened his mouth widely, his eyebrows got raised -- an expression similar to a predator in attack -- and moved towards Rachel’s outstretched finger as if to eat it. Rachel pulled her finger back at the last minute as if she was scared that her finger would get hurt or eaten. She apparently was not sure yet whether the game was safe. Guido responded to her fear by pulling back, away from Rachel’s finger. Rachel reached out her finger towards Guido again and Guido, seeing her smiling, started moving with his open mouth toward her finger. This time, however, he closed his mouth before he reached Rachel’s finger seemingly to help her feel that it is safe to play. She by smiling indicated a desire to continue, and Guido approached with an open mouth, taking Rachel’s finger gently into his mouth twice. During this interaction, Guido did not say anything, just made “funny” noises. Rachel was making happy sounds and continued to play. When Guido saw her enthusiasm, he started moving with open mouth towards her finger again while making

Authors: Kyas, Jirina. and Steen, Francis.
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The finger-eating scene:
The finger-eating scene began when Guido made funny animal-like sounds while
finishing feeding dinner to his daughter Rachel. She watched him with no interruption as
he made growling sounds, shaking his head from side to side as an animal would do
while tearing a piece of meat. Then she initiated the game by spontaneously touching
Guido’s nose but being actually interested in his mouth. Guido “understood” Rachel’s
intent, opened his mouth and gently took her finger in it. When Rachel took her finger
out, he waited for her next move. When he saw that she was still interested in the game
and kept her finger outstretched towards his mouth, he started again. He made a scary
face – opened his mouth widely, his eyebrows got raised -- an expression similar to a
predator in attack -- and moved towards Rachel’s outstretched finger as if to eat it.
Rachel pulled her finger back at the last minute as if she was scared that her
finger would get hurt or eaten. She apparently was not sure yet whether the game was
safe. Guido responded to her fear by pulling back, away from Rachel’s finger. Rachel
reached out her finger towards Guido again and Guido, seeing her smiling, started
moving with his open mouth toward her finger. This time, however, he closed his mouth
before he reached Rachel’s finger seemingly to help her feel that it is safe to play. She by
smiling indicated a desire to continue, and Guido approached with an open mouth, taking
Rachel’s finger gently into his mouth twice.
During this interaction, Guido did not say anything, just made “funny” noises.
Rachel was making happy sounds and continued to play. When Guido saw her
enthusiasm, he started moving with open mouth towards her finger again while making


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