By DAPHNE LEE
GO the F**k to Sleep. I’ve just seen the cover of this book and I want it even though I haven’t read it yet. The title is worth the price though. How brilliantly honest! I don’t know about other parents, but “Go the f**k to sleep” is what often crosses my mind when I deal with my childrens’ bedtimes.
Even during my recent stay in hospital, when my son was recovering from heart surgery, I was swearing to myself every time I was woken up in the middle of the night by Elesh wanting a drink or to be sat up or to go to the toilet. Most parents (apart from the saintliest) should be able to relate – we love our kids, we would do anything for them, but it doesn’t mean we don’t wish they would just go the f**k to sleep at the appropriate time.
OK, just in case some of those aforementioned saintly-than-thou parents get the wrong idea, I’d like to stress that I am not suggesting we all get this book and read it to our cuddly little lambs at bedtime. Go the F**k to Sleep (Akashic Books, 32 pages, 978-1617750250) is not a children’s book. It’s a book for adults that addresses, in a humorous way, the problems many parents face – children who view bedtime with reluctance and hostility, and who do not respond to nursery rhymes, cradle-rocking, bedtime stories, warm milk and all the other prescribed and approved methods of putting children down for the night.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong in acknowledging how difficult it is to be a parent. New parents are often overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for a baby. Sure it’s a rewarding and joyful experience, but it’s also tiring and frustrating. The trouble is, people tend not to talk much about how normal it is to want to scream and cry and kick (as though you were a child yourself) when your little one is fretful and crying for hours and you haven’t had a proper night’s rest in ages, and have forgotten what it’s like to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t drool and poop their pants. Books like this one are great in letting parents know that they’re not alone in wanting “me” time and wishing for some “peace and quiet” and day-dreaming about the good old childless days. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our children. It just means that we need to have our fears and frustrations acknowledged so that we can better cope with them.
Go the F**k to Sleep will be published in October and I shall definitely be gifting it to parents new and experienced (including myself).