Monday, November 17, 2008


Yes, today's post is sort of a sequel. To that marvellous record-breaking hit, 'Sleepcrawler alert'. Like most sequels, we have the same star and main character: Sonny, our almost-seven months old baby. But, again like most sequels, the plot - while filled with echoes from the first instalment - offers a new twist.

What was revealed in the original movie... er, post, is that Sonny was able to motor along on his own steam while asleep. That was then (we haven't noticed the phenomenon of late). But what's still going strong is Sonny's penchant for drinking without being awake. All Mum needs to do is place him strategically next to her, angle his body just so and suddenly he's latching on and sucking in milk in confident slurps. In fact, she would almost swear that he drinks more efficiently when still in dreamland than when he's totally alert.

Neither Mum nor Pa is aware of being able to get much done while asleep, once we discount snoring and dreaming. But there are a lot of things that we do best when not actually focused on the job at hand. This might even be true for something as unlikely as driving: Once you've spent enough time learning how to, being at the wheel becomes pretty much an automatic business. If you try and consciously control your gear shifts, rear-mirror checks and so forth, you might find the whole process actually becoming clumsier. The same goes for riding a bicycle, walking (do you keep track of which muscle groups are bunching and releasing?) and swimming. It all becomes a matter of conditioned reflexes after a while.

It goes a little further in the case of Sonny's milk-drinking, of course - we're really getting into the realm of instinct now. We can say this because, just minutes after Mum had given birth, Sonny-the-newborn was sucking away as though he had taken special classes while in the womb. And if he could start nursing with such gusto immediately after the trauma of being squeezed into the big mad world, suckling while asleep is almost too easy. Something a little more challenging, please, folks.

Thing is, since sequels typically beget further sequels, we're precisely wondering what skill the little fella will demonstrate next with his eyes wide shut. Will he actually turn out to be a sleepwalker, which entails such dangers as ambling into the path a car? Will he babble and spill his innermost fears while in slumber? Perhaps he'll lash out at us (it's happened a time or two already) while protected by the all-encompassing excuse of 'being asleep at the time'.

We're waiting with some trepidation for the next instalment.