Recent research sheds new light on the attention spans of babies on long car journeys, particularly on return from unexpectedly balmy weekends in the south west of the country. A number of distractions were tested for effectiveness in preventing crying.
1) The trees and the sky: extremely effective for up to one hour at the start of journey
2) Sleep: 100% effective for up to 90 minutes, thereafter unobtainable
3) Singing: Excellent, if tiring for the singer, for up to half an hour. Rounds are particularly recommended, as the repetitions make everything sound like a round in the end regardless
4) Toys: Ten minutes each, no more
5) Loud baroque music: Mesmerisingly effective in small doses. Would have been better if they could have beeen turned into rounds.
6) Mobile phone ringtones: Five minutes before irritation sets in (adults, not baby)
7) Video camera footage of baby taken that day at the beach: Almost limitless enjoyment.
This last proved a peculiar experience, stepping the whole research team eight hours back in time. Existential discomfort also produced by the cheerless postmodernism of the procedure. Concern expressed that nothing should be so entertaining to the subject as footage of the same being entertained.