As the title suggests, “Go the F*** to Sleep” mocks the parental frustrations of trying to lay a child down to bed. Crass in concept and execution, this is an expletive-filled bedtime story intended…
If this is the windmill people are tilting at, they need to sort their priorities. (FTR: I do not now, nor have I ever had children. However, I once was a child.)
Every parent has said it at least once. Why? Because EVERY CHILD ON THE PLANET has had at least ONE night where they will not or cannot go to sleep when they’re supposed to. Where everything is, “Why is the sky blue? Why? Why? Why? Why? Can I have a drink of water? I have to go to the bathroom. Read me a story. Can I have another story. I’m not sleepy. Will I look like you when I grow up? Why? Why? Why? Can I slide down the bannister? Why not? Why? Why?”
In short: babies and small children are adorable because if they weren’t, the adults of the species would eat them. The human animal has evolved. Yes, there are terrible parents who abuse and murder children. This book is not that.
My father used to make me stay up late to watch BBC programming on PBS. When my parents split up, mum and my grandparents had to deal with me as a nocturnal creature. I heard a weary, exhausted but affectionate, “Go the fuck to sleep,” more than once. When I DL’d the audio book, I played it for my mum. We both nearly fell on the floor laughing.
This is not the thing people need to get their knickers in a twist over. If they wanna worry about something, worry about how many times in the course of a week they’re in public and ignore a parent abusing their child because it’s, “None of my business.”
We’ve been taking our niece twice a week for the summer. It’s awesome, as is she. She makes songs about her balloons and the dogs and hugs the extremely patient cats until they legitimately need to run away. She’ll dance and giggle and laugh and be awesome.
But, she’s two. She is prone to be extreme pouting and giving dirty looks for the audacity of being told “No.” She models everything and seeks attention, so if you say a swear word and then she says a swear word, she’ll get in trouble which only means she’ll say it again and again and again. Her not-so-stable home life brings on bouts of extreme clinginess and tantrums, neither of which are ‘good’ or ‘cute’, though the last one can border into the realms of ridiculous and schadenfreude.
This looks like a book for good-humored, but tired, parents. Or loving teachers. Or babysitters. Because, seriously kiddo- you cannot mac & cheese for every meal ever, so stop it.
Thursday, we went to King’s Dominion. Audra & I took our niece to the waterpark and the kid’s area. At the lil’ car ride or the tiny planes, one mother threatened to punch her children if she did not shut up right then. The daughter froze and turned around. I froze and turned around. I did not say anything; I did not know - at all - what to say. Everything I have ever been taught, implicitly and explicitly, is that those things are none of your business, so stay out. Every time I hear that, it becomes more and more of a life. A lie too, but more, it becomes the life we lead, as it becomes fine and just okay.