Monday, August 13, 2012

Sleeping Like a Baby

I am sure you must have heard of this expression, "He is sleeping like a baby!" or "poor thing, she has been working on her project all night and now she is sleeping like a baby" or some such variant of it.

Have you? You sure have.

Now, do me a favour, and find out who coined that expression. I have a few things I would like to say to that person. And may be more than a few things I would like to do to that person (I am not sure yet - I am currently reading a volume on Medieval Book of Torture - once I complete my survey I might pick out a few recipes from the above book and implement it on our new to-be-found friend).

Now back to the subject - poor thing sleeping like a baby. When people say stuff like this, what they generally imply is that the "poor thing" under consideration has had a long day and is wearing an innocent expression and is sleeping so deeply and so serenely no force on earth could possibly awaken it. And it is disarming and charming to look at this "poor thing" sleep away.

Person who made this statement first must have never met a baby. May be they met a baby on the street or on a bus, and when they said "chu-chu-ma" or "coo-chi-koo" or some such thing to the baby, the baby might have cracked open a half-smile, and our person would have fallen flat for the baby. This person must have seen another baby asleep when they walked past a pram and must have come up with the phrase.

Let's get some reality into this picture of utter non-sense.

What must have actually happened is this - when this person saw the baby on the street or the bus, the baby must have looked at an idiot contorting his already ugly face to make a super-ugly monstrosity, and must have given a worldly smile, thinking 'what all jokers a baby has to meet in its daily life…' and our man would have thought that the baby understood him and lovvvved his antics. And when he went past a pram and saw the baby sleeping - that must have been the baby closing its eyes to do pranayama or meditate, to calm itself down, because its mother or whoever was pushing it around did not stop at the street corner for the baby to look at a dog peeing into the lamp post. Soon after this the baby would have opened its eyes and did what it did best.

More importantly, let me tell you how a baby falls asleep. One would have to walk around with the baby, gently rocking it, and singing in a low baritone, some lullaby for about 30-40 minutes. If you are conjuring up some "wah- what a pleasure it must be to be carrying a baby and singing to it" and so on - stop right there! Have you ever walked continuously, singing, and rocking a 7-8 kg baby- you'll be breathless after the 7th minute (may be after the 11th minute if you are one of those gym-bodies). But, the thing is, you can't stop after the 7th or the 11th minute. If there is one cardinal rule when you are putting a baby to sleep, is "Don't ever stop doing whatever it is that you are doing before the baby is deeply-deeply asleep". If you try changing what you do, then the baby will wake up, and you can reset the time, and start all over again.

These are a thousand factors that could wake a baby up. Hunger. Thirst. Dreams -yes, babies do have bad dreams. If the baby is teething - which is all the time. Having peed outside the nappy pad which you very consciously wrap around. If there is no cushion or pillow touching it (in the baby's head, this lack of touch of an external object probably makes it think that people have abandoned it in the middle of the Sahara without a soul in calling distance). If it doesn't have enough room to roll around freely. For no reason that you could think of - also, all the time.

All of the above reasons are absolutely legitimate. And babies are like that. That's why they are called babies. That is perfectly alright.

But don't tell me someone sleeps like a baby. Only people who put babies to sleep and make sure that everything in the house is orchestrated in such a way to let the baby sleep its due time are qualified to make that statement.

So, before you attach that title to someone sleeping, think if that person would scream and wake up the entire neighborhood in the middle of the night, because they woke up don't know how to put themselves back to sleep.

(Just like how you can make fun of a community or a religious group if you are an insider, I can make fun of babies - my daughter empowers me to make politically incorrect statements about all babies of the world.)

1 comment:

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