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One of the mediaeval uses of the word 'misericord' (mercy) was to designate a type of sloping wooden panel built into the fixtures of an abbey church. Apparently, the purpose of this kind of panel was that an elderly monk could rest his bottom on it during those long stretches of church services when
he was supposed to remain standing, but needed some support.
So, it's a sort of standing-up seat.
Now, the next-door neigbours recently took delivery of their first baby, reminding me of a problem which, thank God, I got past a few years ago now and to which this idea is a possible solution.
The problem is, a baby who is comforted when you pick it up is often dis-comforted again as soon as you sit down. This is counter-intuitive, because you're still holding the baby and, in many cases, the baby is actually asleep at the point when your knees start to bend. This may not be true of all babies, but I have heard other parents mention it, so I know it's not just me.
So, here is a half-baked solution:
1. You back up to the wall where the sloping panel is fitted, and rest your bottom on it.
2. You free up one hand, and quietly pull the lever recessed into the wall beside the panel.
3. Slowly, the sloping panel starts to tilt towards the horizontal. As you shift your weight off your feet, the section of wall-surface behind your legs starts to tilt outwards, lifting your feet off the ground, while the section behind your back retracts a little way into the thickness of the wall.
4. You tuck in a cushion from a nearly side-table to support your lower back.
All this time, the baby is at exactly the same altitude, and sleeps on.
5. You fall fast asleep and drop the baby head-first... No, wait. That's not part of the idea.
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||Not sure a baby would fall for this (no pun intended). Their detection equipment appears more extensive than a simple altimeter. Definite bun for the recliner, though.
||You may well be right, [Shz], but what other things do you think it's responding to?
||I think it would work better if it could simulate you giving your baby your full and undivided attention. How they can sense this I do not know.
||Maybe the trick is to ignore the baby while you're standing up with him/her, then pay more and more attention to it as you sit down. Soon the baby will love sitting down.
||"Misericord" also meant a knife used for giving a merciful death. That's what I thought was being suggested here.
||I know, [baconbrain], that's why I explained that bit first. Putting parents out of their misery with a knife would be a different idea, and less popular with the parents, but feel free to post it. ;)
||I've been thinking of the various sensors they may use, vibration, pressure, sound, etc. Then I thought, wait, it probably is simple, it's a baby after all. What'd'ya bet they just listen for heart rate and deem anything appraoching resting as unacceptable. - Little bastages (cute little bastages).