Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Watch Out! This One's A Yawner!

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Yawn!

Baby yawns are the sweetest!
In fact, this particular baby yawn inspired this post! Today is the sixteenth birthday of that yawning baby boy!
Happy Birthday, little six foot tall Ben!

You're at running camp, so I can't follow you around all day, retelling little Ben stories and imitating the precious speech impediment you had until you were five. How you used to call your sister YaYa and your favorite drink yemonade.
And I can't replay the scene from every night of your toddler-hood, when you'd stand at the foot of the stairs and beg, "Night night! Night night!"
Oh the joy of having at least one child who begs to go to bed!

So back to yawns...
The most wonder-full thing about yawns is how contagious they are!

Flickr photo by kath1313
Thanks Dr. Seuss, and your 1962 Dr. Seuss's Book of Sleep! How right you are!
We do it in every culture.

Flickr photo by Fahd Murtaza
We yawn when we're tired, bored, or when we see other people yawn.
It's called positive feedback, and we just can't seem to help ourselves.

People used to think yawning was caused by the body needing more oxygen, but no one has ever proven that.
Although they have proven that teenagers sometimes do it just to be sassy.
At least in my house.
(Not that my children would EVER be sassy. Oh no.)

If you ever want to watch me yawn, just put me on a stage in front of a room full of people as I'm about to speak about my book. Like right before this happened.

I always thought my incessant yawning before public speaking was my own unique weird little habit. But apparently I'm not the only person in the world who yawns when they're the least bit nervous! Wikipedia says that paratroopers sometimes yawn before they jump out of airplanes.
Yey! Other people are weird too!
(I wonder if other people ever experience inappropriate laughter? Just curious.)

I could go into a long explanation of some of the hypotheses for why we yawn, but frankly, reading them made me yawn.
Plus I've forgotten all the biochemistry I ever knew and don't want to look like a dumbo.

Instead, let's look at funny shots of animals yawning, shall we?

Here's Tanner the Slobber Dog. It's a fuzzy picture because he made me start yawning.

And here's a horse of course.

Flickr photo by lilredhorse33
Ooh. I bet his breath is nice.

I read that guinea pigs yawn to show their dominance or anger.
Flickr photo by pyza*
Or maybe he's just tired.
Still, I feel a little intimidated. Don't you?
Of course he could be irritated with me because I called him a guinea pig, and he's actually a hamster. Sorry, little fella, I always get you two confused.

I don't usually like it when dogs show me their teeth, even if they are just yawning. But this guy doesn't bother me.

Flickr photo by knitterj
In fact, I think he's hilarious.
So does this cat.

Flickr photo by dawneubanks2005
Unless he's just yawning and stretching.
Here's a vocabulary word of the day for you: pandiculation. Pandiculation means the act of stretching and yawning at the same time. It's what the cat is doing probably.
Either that or hee hawing about some goofy dog.

Seeing all this yawning makes me feel the need for pandiculation.
As in this illustration from one of my childhood favorites, Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses.

Night night! Night night!
(Another wonder of the world is the nap!)
But I must have some yemonade first!

Have a Wonder-full Tuesday, everyone!
Happy birthday Ben! And you too, Mom!
Love, Becky


Elise said...

And of course I spent the blog past yawning...but not because I was bored! Yawns are contagious!Another fun post. Happy B-day wishes to your son!


Anonymous said...

whoops, meant to say blog POST, not past. Time for a latte!


rochambeau said...

Bet you knew it!! I Yawned!
I used to have that Robert Lewis Stephenson book with the child yawning. Do you still have your's?
I gave mine to my God son.
It's cool that you give talks about your book. Even if you have to yawn first!!!


Suzie said...

I love the horse yawn and of course tha baby yawn too cute.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Apple hopped up in bed with me this morning and started yawning. I'm afraid she got me everytime. She yawned, I yawned...etc.

Doreen said...

Yawns are so contagious..i always try not to yawn when someone else does...but I can't help it. Maybe you yawn before a speech out of a slight nervousness..could be I guess...

my sister-in-law yawns constantly when she is around us...WE MUST BORE HER!!! Oh well, she bores me too...just kidding :)

Happy Birthday Ben..what a sweet pic of him..and how cute...NIGHT, NIGHT!!!!

Have a great day :)

Rosemary said...

Now I am yawning.
In school, we used to yawn to try to get the teacher to yawn.
Funny post Rebecca!!
Have a great day!

JaxPop said...

I Yawn waY too often. It's verY annoYing, especiallY Yawning as I tYpe - It YoosuallY causes me to incorporYate or capitYalize the letter Y everY time I Yawn.....
Y did You go n'... YYY... post this
Mrs RamseY? Geez, even the... YYY (stretches)... word verification thingY has 3 Y's in it. Nap-tYme.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

And I yawned. Not out of boredom, though.

Rebecca said...

The photos were fine, but the video did me in -- 5 yawns in the space of a minute and a half. Pretty funny when you know from the fact that your audience is yawning that you've done good work. :)

Nilz said...

Happy Birthday to your son. Pictures are great.

TattingChic said...

Thanks for the yawn! I couldn't watch that last video without doing it myself! I have to say I had a kitty cat once that would yawn with me, until I discovered a horrible torturous little trick! If you open your mouth and close it really fast while maintaining eye contact with a yawner it will stop their yawn! My cat used to do this to me! That is how I discovered it, then I tried it out on him and it stopped his yawn, too! He found it to be about as irritating as I did as he would give me an irritated little mmmmerrrrowwfff Hmmm...the plot thickens...so I tried it out on people and lo and behold, it worked! I'd only try it on the people that know and love you best, tho...don't want to make yawning enemies...or do you? Hmmmm....food for thought.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Thanks for the comments, you yawners!
And Tattingchic, I can't wait to try that trick!
I confess I used to yawn a lot on purpose when I was trying to put my kids down for naps. It usually worked. It'll be interesting to see if I can stop their yawns as well!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Oh, and yes Rochambeau. I do still have that book. I read poems out of it every now and then to my kids.

Barb said...

What fun Becky, I yawned right through your post.

Happy birthday to Ben. My youngest granddaughter stands at the bottom of the stairs and says "night, night also.

hugs to you,

LW said...

Happy Birthday Ben !!!!

this was a fun post...


JoJo said...

Loved the photos. For some reason I yawn in exercise class and it can sometimes be embarrassing. I also have a bad habit of yawning nonstop when I have to read something out loud. I volunteer with a school reading program so I go read to a slow student every week during the lunch hour. I usually yawn for about half of the lunch break. Oh well, my intentions are good! Don't you just love the precious yawning baby?

Randy and Linda said...

"Poppies, Poppies" - from the Wizard of Oz - remember the wicked witch put poppies in the field to make them fall asleep before they could reach the Emerald City. That's a real yawner of a scene!

CC said...

Happy Birthday Ben!!

I'm going to bed now! ;)

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

I enjoyed this post, but of course yawned all through the video!

I was taught in my counseling classes how to make it appear as though you are not yawning when you are. I can do it, but it just makes me look constipated.