When Lashes was about six weeks old, I had to take him for his hearing test. No, don't worry, this isn't some parenting witter. It's an elaborate extended metaphor. Stay with me.
The hearing test required the baby to be asleep, but after about fifty fruitless circuits of Soho Square, Lashes was still emphatically, balefully awake, so we gave up and went anyway, my mother holding my arm and wiping away my despairing tears, yet again.
The nice hearing lady stuck several electrodes to his scaly newborn head which were attached to a machine that measured his brain activity. Really! This sounds very sci-fi, but I promise it wasn't a puerperal psychosis hallucination. My mum saw it too. So, the machine was reading about 600 whatevers (thoughts?) as Lashes thrashed around and grumbled and none of us was very sure quite how we were ever going to get the test done and I was thinking FAILURE! FAILURE! in big red capitals in my head.
But then the hearing lady did something absolutely magical. She held out her right arm in front of Lashes' face, and wiggled her fingers in a sort wavelike motion at him. She kept wiggling, and within seconds his little limbs stopped thrashing and he stopped grumbling and became very very still and we watched amazed as the figures on the machine dropped away 400 ..... 300 ... 280 ..... 160 .... 80 ... 45 ... and finally, 0. His eyes were still open, but he was hypnotised into a state of total absence. It was very very funny, and also amazing; the physical manifestation of that expression "the lights are on but noone's home". It lasted for the two or three minutes, the utterly still, absent state, as she did the test, wiggling her fingers all the time. When she stopped, Lashes sort of shook himself, came out of the trance, and started thrashing around again. Of course, we tried to reproduce it at home repeatedly with no success at all (it was after all an awesome trick with a small rage-filled baby. I would have used it constantly had it worked. We also speculated about kidnapping the nice hearing lady and holding her hostage in the flat.).
So. That eyes open, zero brain activity state? That is me, today.
Worth waiting for? No, I didn't think so.