Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Budgies and babies

Budgies are a native Australian parrot that are also kept as pets. If a budgie becomes sick in the wild, it will become a target for predators, so it is in the best interests of the budgie to hide any illness and pretend that they are not ill. This means that if you have a pet budgie, they will also generally hide any sickness until they are so sick that it is usually too late to do anything about it and they fall off the proverbial perch.

Babies, on the other hand, don't hide sickness but are masters at concealing tiredness. Actually, they don't conceal tiredness but they are masters of making you think that you were mistaken when you thought they were tired. Let me explain further.

Squirmy McBaby will be happily playing on his mat and will then suddenly start to grizzle. Ok, now is he tired or just sick of being on his mat? Ok, let's play something else and the baby stops grizzling and is all smiles. Ten minutes later, and he's rubbing his eyes and arching his back. Yep, he's tired all right so off to bed for a nap. Pick the baby up, carry him to his room and put him in his bed. As soon as he hits the mattress he kicks his little legs and gives you the biggest smile ever and acts like he is the least tired little boy in the whole world.

While I haven't yet worked out the evolutionary or biological imperative behind this behaviour, I'm sure it'll come to me when I get a bit more sleep.


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