(Link to Samuel L. Jackson book narration at end of post)
A long day has passed with running, jumping and squealing, followed by more running, jumping and squealing. While as a parent, you marvel at your child’s boundless energy, you also wish rather than a morphine drip you could get a coffee drip to keep up. If you deny this fact then either you are lying, have a nanny or popping Xanax like mints.
Ideally, bed time is supposed to be a magical time. A time of cozy jammies, nightlights, Baby Mozart and sweet kisses on the forehead. Yes, this is how bed time starts out but what happens shortly after are the moments that keep moms and dads on cliff’s edge of insanity, moments that parents don’t dare speak of at play dates or birthday parties.
I know all too well how in one hour a smile that melted my heart could taunt and mock me like the Joker. “Are they laughing at me?” I think. “ARE THEY LAUGHING AT ME,” Grrrrrrr … I Hulk smash into their room. And, just so you know. Yes, yes they are laughing at me. As well they should. I look ridiculous in a pink, fluffy robe and my favorite pink and gray hippo slippers. They laugh as we laughed at our parents. Oh, karma you saucy minx.
But, finally, one brave parent dared break his silence. Adam Mansbach eloquently and controversially parodied the night time ritual in Go the F**k to Sleep – an “adult’s children’s book.”
The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the f**k to sleep.
Ah, yes. Simple and yet poignant in its prose. The book goes on to poetically depict a parent further unraveling with every excuse and trick his child uses to not go to sleep. Published in 2011, GTFTS became a viral sensation before it hit Amazon’s digital shelves. It was applauded for its candor and derided for its vulgarity. An ethical debate then ensued between parents, publishers and child advocates which was furthered by OP-ED pieces in major news outlets like the New York Times and CNN.