Why do people use the phrase ‘sleep like a baby’ when they are wishing someone a good rest? I’ve never known any babies to be particularly great sleepers. They fight falling asleep, wake up in the middle of the night for a wee and a feed, and have trouble staying asleep if the environment around them is not up to their exacting standards. It seems to be more of a curse to wish that someone would sleep like a baby.
Dear Sulky Snoozer,
I am so glad you have brought this question to me. Like my Mommybeast, I find joy in pondering the odd phrases that have come to be considered ‘wise sayings’ when they are not wise at all! You are absolutely correct in your description of the sleep habits of Miniature Humans. I used to live in a home daycare filled to the brim with them, so I know from experience what I am talking about. It was never quiet. Someone was always doing their best to cry themselves into consciousness – as if sleep was the very edge of death they may not return from. Not only will sleeping like a Miniature Human leave you exhausted, you’ll also be in danger of peeing your bed! Therefore, I propose we change the saying entirely.
Sleep like a canine.
I’ve run a focus group with my fellow neighborhood canines and come to the conclusion that this was the only phrase that would work. Old humans don’t sleep very well, they have similar problems to the Miniature Humans in that their bladders are weak and their bellies need meals more often. Humans in the prime of their life are so busy racing off to the next adventure that they hardly sleep well at all – always eager for the next best thing. That just leaves us with only one option.
Dogs sleep for about 18 hours each day. Outside of training the mailman to deliver packages to the correct location on the front step, we dogs have very little to do during our day other than perfect our napping skills. We fall asleep within minutes and stay asleep even when the most arduous conditions are present. I know of no other creature that can sleep through the caterwauling that is primetime television as if it were the most dulcet tones. We canines are also able to sleep in virtually any position, and despite multiple attempts to force our bodies to move, we continue to sleep without a care in the world.
Frankly, I think wishing someone to sleep like a canine is the very best way to demonstrate you care.
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