Adapted from All That She Can Be, Dr. Carol J. Eagle and Carol Colman, Fireside Press, 1994

An eight year old girl can pooh-pooh her mother and say that she’s unimportant in her life, but when she’s with her, she is watching her continuously and constantly. If you’re a stranger, she’ll give you one look and sort of check you out if you’re okay, but then her eyes go back immediately to her mother’s face and she watches her mother’s face, reacting to this stranger, judging whether the stranger is somebody that is acceptable to mother, and therefore to her, as well as how does mother make her face do the various things it does that she can anticipate that she’s going to try to do. When girls are playing grown-up you can actually see their mothers there in the room even though they’re not, in their facial mannerisms and in their body expressions so that you think this is a miniature mother that’s there.