There is a book that details the agony and aggravation in a parent's trial to get their child to go to sleep.
This is that book and it will show you that while there are no definite answers: You are not alone.
My mum pointed this out to me in a bookstore and we read it together, laughing along.
'Go the F**k to Sleep' reads just like a children's bedtime book and while a story is meant to be the final adieu before slipping into the land of dreams, it doesn't often work.
The prose turns from lyrical with an undertone of tension to flat-out desperation and aggravation. It isn't just the voice of one parent pleading with and demanding their child go to sleep. This is an anthem for all parents who do not have pleasant sleeping non-rebellious babes. Does anyone have one of those?
I am not a parent but I could spot plenty of the tactics I would use as an excuse to be out of bed when I was little. “I need a glass of water.” Chugs glass of water… “I need to go to the bathroom…”
Should you read 'Go the F**k to Sleep' to your child? It is somewhat the adult's equivalent to a children's story book…but if you don't have a problem with a couple of swear words, it's not explicit or vulgar.
On the other hand, the book is quite excitable, so it might not work to your advantage if it's night-time and you are trying to get the little one to sleep. Not to mention, the book outlines a parent's weaknesses and informs children that their parents do know their run-down tactics. The information may lead them to invent new ploys to keep pulling your stings and straying from bed.
The book is beautifully illustrated by Ricardo Cortés. It incorporates all the imagination that children and stories bring and the face of the stubborn child and the desperate parent. It also shows a wonderful juxtaposition of the sleeping animals and the peaceful settings of the world with the hyper and wide-eyed children of the world.
If you thought it couldn't get better, it can. I was able to download the free audio book, narrated by none other than Samuel L. Jackson.
His narration was different to how I read it out loud/in my mind but he nailed it. It's so perfect. I can imagine him there, sitting with this kid. The way he reads the book is so rhythmic, I can't believe the kid doesn't fall asleep. Seriously, cut the dude a break! He's amazing at this. What more do you want?
Jackson's acting really shines through in the parts where he's showing the lack of response to his superb reading to this child. It's a gradual build-up to the point where he is this tired, broken parent.
I recommend 'Go the F**k to Sleep' to anyone who has been that parent, to those who - like me - were that child who just wouldn't yield to sleep or to anyone looking for a good short read, filled with humour.