West Dulwich, London (BP) -- A team of British-American scientists are currently researching the effects of what has been dubbed the "Avian Imitation Tendency" often exhibited by young children under the age of 2. AIT is a phenomenon most easily recognized by the child's early-morning risings and squawkings, similar to that of the rooster and his pre-dawn crowing. In many cases, AIT will also include the child going "boneless" as the hapless and exhausted parent attempts to coax the child back into the sleepful state (Ed's note: of course being boneless this has nothing to do with the natural state of a chicken, but it's that thought that popped into my head at 4:45 a.m. in our kitchen as I was making a bottle and led me to write this - what is supposed to be - humorous post).
It is not known what the cause of Avian Imitation Tendency is, and most children return to their normal states once the sun rises and their parents have succumbed to the fact that the child will not be returning to sleep. Symptoms in the parents - principally, but not exclusively, the mother - include fatigue, subsequent dark shading under the eyes, and in extreme circumstances, bruised teeth and gums (from teeth-clenching in attempts to control frustration and not to scream, an action that would wake other members of the household and possibly neighbors). Over time hair loses color and turns to grey.
The team's lead researcher also commented today that upcoming studies will address the impact of daylight savings time, which the UK moved to on Saturday. "We've concluded that if you look at all the evidence, human children want to be a lot like birds, particularly 'early birds'. We hope that further research can help tired parents find a cause, and perhaps, one day, a solution." DwL thinks the bird's the word.