Dialogue at the drawing table

Context: Micaela was standing at a low table, drawing a picture of a house and a bottle for Bingo (Micaela’s stuffed doggie) and Abby (Emeth’s stuffed doggie).  I transcribed this conversation while sitting behind them.  Any clarifying comments are added between the [brackets].

E: Is yours Bingo little?

M: He’s… four years old.

E: My Bingo’s big.  [pause]  Where’s Abby’s bedroom?

M: Here’s in this door.

E: Where’s the curtain at night?  [We draw the curtain in the bedroom at night to keep it dark]

M: [Not listening]  …and then, I’ll draw the chimney.  [Then to Emeth] I can’t cut the Chimney out.  Is that okay?

E: No that’s not matter.  […] How Abby get in the firetruck?

M: You can drive the firetruck and then hold her up while you’re riding on it.

E: There’s no doors on it!

M: What do you mean there’s no doors on it?

E: No doors on it for my Abby to get in!  [Pointing to a piece of paper on the desk] Did you rip it?

M: No.  It’s just a piece of paper on the desk.

E: What’s that paper over there?

M: What do you mean?

E: That paper next to me. [Pauses – Micaela gets too close for comfort with the scissors] Don’t cut me!  Don’t want to cut people.

M: I won’t cut people.  I’m cutting paper silly!

E: Don’t cut the house!

M: I’m not, I’m cutting the chimney.  But I can’t cut the smoke out.

E: What’s this bottle?  For your Bingo?  Why your Bingo have two bottles?

M: He doesn’t.  I messed up by accident.  Some of the bottles were messed up.

E: What’s that there?  A Horse?  Is that a Donkey?  A Donkey?  Do you want to cut your Bingos?  Your did cut it!

M: [Not listening] This bottle is messed up.

E: That’s okay, right?  Why there two bottles messed up?  [Pointing somewhere else on the page] Why these not messed up?  Why these not two messed up?

M: I don’t know why they’re not messed up. [Keeping her cool] They’re just not messed up.

E: [Pointing to a different spot] Why these two messed up there?

M: I don’t know.

E: [Pointing to different spots] There’s Bingo.  Another bottle.  Another bottle.  Another bottle.  Another house.  Another bottle.  Donkey!

house and bottle

M: There.  You can glue those on the paper if you want to.

E: No!

M: I’m just telling you if you want to.  You don’t have to if you don’t want to.

E: Is that our house right there?  Is that our little house right there?  Right there?

M: Actually that paper is for somebody else.

E: Why is that for somebody else?

M: Because I like to give…

E: [Cutting her off] Is that for Jessica?  Is that for Michael?  Is that picture for Winnie?

M: I gave a picture to them already.

E: Where’s mom-mom and pop-pop’s picture?

M: I don’t know.

E: They just have all the pictures at their house already.  Mom-mom and pop-pop already have your picture already that your made.  Right?  [Pauses] Why are you drawing on that?  Are you drawing grass?  What’s those?

M: I’m drawing a house for my Bingo.

E: This is our house.  See?  That’s not our house.  This is our house.  Right?

M: This is your Abby’s house.  This is my Bingo’s house.

E: Abby can’t go in the door if it’s closed.  Right?

M: I mean, pretend that she’s in there already.

E: There’s two boxes for our Bingo and my Abby, right?  [Pointing inside the house] I put crackers in there.  Abby can eat them.  I save them for later so Abby can eat them if she doesn’t eat her soup.  Right? […] This is Abby’s basket, right?

M: [Stops cutting the paper] Emeth, Why are you always saying right?

E: I’m not always saying right.

M: You are!

E: I’m not always saying right!

M: [Firmly] You – are – always – saying – right.

E: [Smiles] I’m not always saying right…  I’m just fishing!


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  1. Somehow this strikes me as one of those imaginary historical discussion books that are supposed to help clarify “issues”, but which rarely ever do. You know, “Socrates and Wittgenstein on Global Warming” or “Stephen Hawking and Thomas Aquinas Do Nuclear Proliferation”. “Emmeth and Micaela on Images and Representation” rings a lot truer than any of those other ones I tried to slog through. *Char

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