"The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest
And the creatures who crawl, run and creep.
I know you're not thirsty. That's bullshit. Stop lying.
Lie the fuck down, my darling, and sleep."
Thank you, NetGalley, for this free eBook! I'm re-paying you with a review the same day you sent it, that's how eager I am to cause trouble dedicated I am to my avocation.
Verdict? Hilarious! Freaking hilarious. If someone had given this to me about 17 years ago it would have made some serious difference in my mental health. Instead of snatching myself bald, or cramming a pillow over my ear so hard I fractured my skull, I could have laughed 'til I snorted. Which would you choose?
The story, unsurprisingly, is about a dad trying to put his little one to sleep, so he and mom can watch a movie and relax. Being a typical kid, s/he asks for about a million things he knows s/he doesn't really need, that it's just a stalling tactic, each request driving him a little further off the edge.
I HAVE BEEN ON THAT EDGE!
And do I remember those nights. I didn't sleep through the night for about six years, maybe more, and that's no exaggeration. Even after my kids stopped waking me, I was still in full fight-or-flight mode at bedtime: Oh my GOD, did one of them just stop breathing? Is someone sneaking in to steal them?! Oh my God! I KNOW ONE OF THEM IS CHOKING!
All hallucinatory, of course, sleep-deprivation bringing on complete mental breakdown. Even though I knew it wasn't rational, I'd still get up to poke them with a stick and make sure they were alive. And, wouldn't you know, every damn time they were.
Remember, this is coming from a woman so paranoid I once took our dog – when she was a puppy – to the vet, because I was convinced she had a fever. The vet calmly stuck the thermometer up the dog's little puppy butt, and assured me she was just fine. Because "Dogs have a higher normal temperature than people, you CRAZY BITCH! Oh, and don't forget to pay the $ 50 for your hysteria on the way out. DUMB ASS!"
My kids were spaced two years apart, so for more than six years I had an infant and a toddler, ultimately a pre-schooler, a toddler and an infant. Trying juggling that. And don't even try to one-up me, octomom, or blood will be spilled.
Of course there are the valid wake up calls, too, when you'd surface from dream-land to one of the kids retching, projectile vomiting their dinner all over the room like a backyard sprinkler. One parent takes bathroom duty, hosing the kid down, while the other changes the bed linen, washes up the floor as well as possible, and remakes the bed. A bit of kiddie Tylenol later, they're settled in, a towel and a big bowl or bucket on the floor next to them. A big bowl or bucket they'll completely miss the next time they heave-ho, pretty much guaranteed to happen within the next two hours. You can set your watch by it.
Adam Mansbach, you are my hero, though you came a little too late for my sanity. Sorry you're getting clobbered by conservatives with no sense of humor. I assure you there are a whole bunch of us, legions, who are or have been right there with you. And your illustrator, Ricardo Cortés, does an amazing job of keeping to the classic style, making it all the more funny in a deadpan way. It would have lost something had it been cartoonish; the humor relies on imitating the style of real children's books.
And for you IDIOTS on Amazon who don't realize this book is a parody, thanks for the misplaced outrage. Maybe you can use it for something real next time. I was planning to give the book to a child at my next opportunity, because I like teaching really bad words to children, letting them know their parents are pissed as hell at them. God, that's so fun!
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!
The one beacon of hope we're left with is the possibility our kids will go on to have kids of their own. Finally, FINALLY they'll get it. And so on. And so on. And so on, 'til the world blows up and we all die.
Now that's a good theme for another children's book…
This stuff really writes itself, doesn't it?
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Akashic Books; 1st edition (June 14, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1617750255
- ISBN-13: 978-1617750250
Adam Mansbach's website.