The child is five months old and his mother is called Janet James. They live in an apartment in Los Angeles United States. Janet works around the town and the Paul is always left with his nanny or taken to a baby care center in the neighborhood. Paul is provided with an environment that is very conducive and helpful for his development process. Being a physically active boy Paul is backed up by the good surrounding in achieving his growth. Janet his mother declares that his son is a blessing to her life though it has been challenging to take care of him and work at the same time. She was forced to change from her full time job to part time to get enough time to take care of his son. She continues to say that his son is her priority and she would give him everything to ensure he has a perfect environment for his development.
I did my first observation at Janet’s house which lasted for two hours. When I arrive Paul was asleep and therefore I had to wait for thirty minutes before he could wake up. His mother told me that he used to sleep twice everyday. The first sleep was after he had taken breakfast and carried out some active activities while playing softly. He again slept in the afternoon at around two o’clock after taking lunch and playing around with his toys. He was woken up by his mother after the thirty minutes were over. At first he cried lightly as a sign of wanting to continue with the sleep. He stopped crying after his mother lifted him up and made non verbal sounds to excite him. He noticed my presence behind her mother and I could see in his eyes that he had recognized that I was not familiar. Her mother walked out of the room as I followed behind and Paul maintained his eyes on me by turning his head.
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When we got to the sitting room her mother ordered some milk for him from his nanny. As she waited for the milk she held her hands to play with him. Paul’s face reflected a lot of pleasure and joy for the attention his mother was giving him. Janet pressed his hands in and out of his chest and Paul produced sounds of joy. Her mother told me that he loved that hand play that is why he was reacting happily when done to him continuously. Finally her nanny came from the kitchen while calling his name. He turned his head towards the kitchen door when he heard the sound and showed eagerness of the milk held by his nanny on her hands. His nanny gave the milk to his mother and I could see him sucking his lips before he was given the milk. His mother held him at his breastfeeding position and gave him the milk. He continuously stared at his mother as he drunk the milk. After five minutes he forced himself out of the position he was held and refused to drink the milk. His mother said that he was satisfied and if forced to take more he might vomit.
Janet moved to the sofa and declared her joy when I observed what his son was doing. She tried to make Paul Stand on the carpet while holding his hands. His legs were not strong enough to support his weight and I could see them shaking. He tried to make them strong but he could not and ended up sitting down. He could still not support himself well and her mother lifted him up and made him lie on the sofa. He lied on his tummy and lifted his chest and head. He supported himself with one hand and reached for his mother’s handkerchief next to him. His mother lifted him up and placed him on her thighs. He held the handkerchief in his hands and did not look at it instead he concentrated on other things.
Apart from the time he was woken up I did not see him cry or irritated. Janet told me that he had to take a bath before lunch after which he will sleep as state earlier. We proceeded to the bed room where he always took bath. His mother lied him on bed and prepared warm water in his bath tab. She then moved to him and started removing his clothes. He was exited and moved his arms and legs as he smiled happily at his mother. Janet told me that that was one of his most exiting moments because he really enjoyed bathing. He was lifted to the water and he made sounds while trying to hold water with his hands. Through out his bathing he was very happy. He showed some resistance when her mother removed him from the water. As he was being dressed we hard a loud bang from the kitchen and he showed some distress from the sound. Janet carried him on her arms to reduce the distress caused by the sound.
Paul had a scheduled breastfeeding program and he knew the times he was supposed to breast feed since it was a routine thing. It was his time to breast feed and I saw his mother directing her nipple towards his mouth. He was impatient and jumped on it even before his mother reached his lips. Sigmund Freud developed a psychosexual theory that explained the importance of child stages of development and how it affects the future personality of the baby. According to him the id energies of seeking pleasure in a baby are concentrated on specific erogenous locations. When Paul jumped on her mother’s breast to breastfeed it revealed the psychosexual energy which pushed him to behave like that. When Janet accepted to breastfeed him then she was helping her son complete the psychosexual stages which will definitely result into a future healthy personality. At this stage the child will tend to get most pleasure through the mouth by sucking or eating. According to Eric Erikson also a theorist in children development a child develops trust and comfort towards those people who feed them. They believe everything given to them is not harmful and they direct those things to the mouth immediately they get into their hands. That marked the end of my first day observation and I told Janet that I will continue with my observation during my third visit.
On my second time of observation I came a bit earlier with an intention of interviewing Janet on the progresses she had observed on her son’s development. She told me as Paul grew he became more trustworthy and confidence and therefore the worries of being away from him were reduced. She also claimed that children are said to improve their canonical movement through nonverbal vocalization and rhythmic sounds made by vehicles. She has therefore increased the involvement of these characteristics during her interaction with Paul. Janet also told me that Paul has started knowing the use of certain objects used to carry out common functions. For example he looks at me every time I hold the remote and expects that I will use the remote to do something even if he doesn’t remember exactly that it is used on television. When he looks at things he is able to know that when he moves his eyes from them he will still find them at the same position. Janet observes this when he enters his room and finds him playing with the toys hanged on his bed. Paul stops playing when he hears her entering the room but after few seconds he goes back to playing expecting that his toys are on the same position he left them.
T he major surroundings of Paul consisted of his family and particularly his mother whom they spend most of his everyday time with. He also had the baby care center where he was taken when his mother had gone to work and his nanny was busy or not home. At the center Paul interacted with a group of children when playing and socializing. There was also a small puppy at the center and Paul gave it allot of attention every time he was there. With time he got used to it and seeing it every time he went there was not strange. Janet went with him to the neighbor one morning to report something they wanted to do together on their fence and she carried Paul with her. When they got there the first thing they saw was their big bull dog which surprised Paul and filled his eyes with curiosity. He could not turn his eyes off the dog until they left the compound. According to Piaget’s cognitive development on children there is a concept called Schemas which was reflected in Paul’s development. In Paul’s mind there was a picture of both big and a small dog now. In the long run he will develop the knowledge of the existence of both big and small dogs through assimilation and accomodation. At the same time Paul interacted with people in the neighborhood, members of the extended family and also friends. During his interaction with the people in his surroundings he is seen to be an outgoing and happy boy who is positive to all people even those who he is not familiar with. He also does not resist or cry when forced to quit a game he was playing with his friends at the day care or a play date.
Paul’s development had been normal when I went back to their house to make my final observations on him. I arrived at around lunch hour when his nanny was feeding him. I opened the door for myself and attracted his attention by the sound made by the door. He stretched his neck to turn towards the direction I was coming from. When I got to him he stared at me blankly and it was clear from his face that he did not remember me. I tried to shake his fingers and he showed no resistance, at this time he had stopped chewing the food on his mouth and concentrated on me. I stopped communicating to him through sounds and expressions to give his nanny more time to continue feeding him.
Janet was aware of my last visit and therefore I was expecting her home soon. I moved away from Paul’s sight and he continued feeding. I would see him staring at his nanny’s eyes for long periods as she fed him. After few minutes he finished the food and his nanny told me that he used to feed on the same quantity of food everyday at the same time. She told me that his meals are always scheduled at the same time everyday which makes his eating habits a routine. This makes it easier for her to feed him since he can predict when he is hungry and when he is full.
I helped her carry him as he cleaned the table. He did not cry when I lifted him though his eyes were still curious to identify who exactly I was. He was uncomfortable and did not move freely as if he feared me. It was not long and Janet was home. When she entered the house Paul was happy and his face showed confidence that his mother was coming to pick him. Janet said hi and went for his hands to shake his fingers. He stretched his arms as a sign of requesting her to take him. Janet assumed and went ahead to place her bag on the table. His face frowned and I was sure he would cry. Before I could ask Janet to take him he had busted into a loud bitter cry. This showed that she had more trust on Janet than me. According to John Bowlby social development theory a child is capable of developing some tight bonds especially with those people children trusts as they grow. In this case Paul has a tighter relationship with his mother that is why he opts to be with her every time she is around. He is more comfortable in her arms than anyone else’s arms.
Janet took her baby and tried to shake him rhythmically in her arms to cool him down. He does not take long to stop crying though he still shows that he is mad. He holds his mother’s clothes tightly with his fingers and looking at me with a lot of anger. Janet moves him on the sofa and gives him a toy to look at. He directs all his attention to the toy and tries to get hold of it but he is unable to lift it. He plays with it by tapping it continuously with his hands. His moods go back to normal and he forgets what he had undergone few minutes ago. As he played her mother told me that his anger did not usually last for long. When annoyed he cried but when soothed he did not take long to keep quiet. She also told me that he recognizes those people that are new to him and if they nag him he becomes uncomfortable and that is why he cried when I instead to hold him after his mum had arrived. Janet lifted him on her arms again and soothed him slowly claiming that it was time for him to sleep again. He silently listened to the sound made by his mother and it seemed to comfort him more and more as his mother moved round the sitting room and he finally slept.
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