Go the (bleep) to Sleep – Parental Advisory

Forget the comb, the brush, and the bowl full of mush. There’s no little old lady whispering hush.

When you  have a colicky baby that won’t sleep, you aren’t whispering “Goodnight Moon,” you’re howling at it. You will make any bargain, pay any price, buy any product that promises to give you even a moment of peace. But instead of crying along with his infant like the rest of us, author Adam Mansbach got creative and wrote a book, Go the (bleep) to Sleep.

Although it is beautifully illustrated and has the appearance of a child’s bedtime storybook, it isn’t meant for rocking and lullabies. This one is strictly for the grown-ups, essentially a blue streak of profanity separated by a few lines of poetry:

The cats nestle close to their kittens,

The lambs have laid down with the sheep.

You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear.

Please go the (bleep) to sleep.

The story could have been done with less offensive language, but the sense of unbearable frustration and impotent rage would have been lost.  The whole point as that sleep deprivation makes us into despairing, exhausted, barely recognizable versions of our worst selves. Having narrowly survived this form of parental torture, the book makes me cry laughing (or is it cackle mirthlessly?) with relief that I made it!

For those who have been there (trying in vain to soothe a baby back to sleep) or gone there (wild-eyed and screaming silently before composing yourself to open the nursery door), you understand completely.

This book isn’t the gift to give the expectant parents in your Sunday School class. But it is a good way to diffuse frustration with humor and realize you are not alone, that defeated parents have dealt with wide-awake babies since the dawn of humanity.

Don’t judge until you’ve rocked a mile in our slippers.