Monday, May 26, 2008

Worrying stuff

Today, we stuffed Sonny into what was effectively a sack, and he looked happier than a hog in mud. Though an ostrich might furnish a better comparison - but more on that later.

It was a sallying-forth to the coffeeshop and library that led us to deploy our sarong - a piece of cloth cunningly twisted about a pair of rings to create a snug depository for baby, and worn across the caregiver's chest. Sonny at once contorted himself into a teardrop-shaped blob, his head just visible above the cloth. The position looked impossibly uncomfortable, but his eyes slid shut and he was instantly asleep.

It's no surprise, on reflection, that a baby should enjoy the way such cosy confines, located next to his mother's beating heart, simulate a return to to the womb and a walling-out of all outside distractions. But it occurred to us that there are folks with many more birthdays under their belts who behave analogously. In the face of challenge or threat, they bury themselves in the sand like the proverbial ostrich (real ostriches being too intelligent to suffocate themselves in this manner), entering a cocoon that might be fantasy, the words of sycophants or some other version of Sonny's sarong.

Would this mean that we should avoid too many sarong sessions for Sonny, for fear that it may reinforce the instinct to retreat to convenient hideaways, ignoring clear and present danger? At least a real ostrich will run to escape perceived predators.

As it happens, we couldn't quite make it home before Sonny shook himself awake and began demanding more than just the comfort of a fake womb. After all, as we should all know, hiding away from trouble can only work for so long.