Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's Funny Because It's True

As read by Samuel L. Motherfucking Jackson

You get frustrated with children because you make the mistake of thinking they’re miniature adults.  
Now that it’s summer, Dylan won’t sleep.  It’s suddenly months ago and he doesn’t want to sleep alone.  Putting him down is a chore, an horrific, horrible chore.  He cries fake tears but the confusion is real.  It’s easy to meet his churlishness with your own, to be another child, to get just as angry as he is.  
You get frustrated because you make the mistake of thinking he’s a miniature adult, choosing to behave a certain way instead of just lashing out, reacting to his fear, acting out because he's exhausted.  But you have a choice.  You can be the adult.
He reaches for you and you pick him up, rock him gently as you carry him around his room.  You tell him you’re right next door.  You tell him you love him very much.  You tell him you’ll be there in minute if he gets scared in the middle of the night.
He drops off like a feather falling from a nest.  You are father of the year.

Then there are those nights.  Those terrible, terrible nights when nothing works.  Usually because you're too exhausted yourself to reach inside, find your gushy center, and rock him to sleep on it.    

It was after one such night that I read a PDF of Go the Fuck to Sleep and laughed until I cried.  The book was originally slated for a November release, but the PDF leaked and pre-sales made it the #1 book on Amazon.  Akashic, one of the coolest little publishers on the planet, got them into stores as soon as they could.  May GtFtS sales keep Akashic publishing Punk Planet and Kaylie Jones for years to come.  

Of course the book has detractors who read too much into it, most famously Karen Spears Zacharias, and less famously but more accurately Amy Sohn.  

Sometimes a book is just a book.  But when it can turn your frustration - which has nowhere healthy to go because the last thing you want is for your child to see it - into tears of laughter, it's also a gift.


  1. Well done! You are becoming a great parent. <3

  2. Thanks. I have a link on my favorites at work that I read a lot. It tells me how to talk to a six-year-old. Maybe that's silly, but it helps remind me that it's not as easy as I think it is, that I can't coast.

    Becky also subscribes to Parenting magazine, and they have a lot of great advice. The articles are a little woman-centric, but so's parenting.