Friday, June 17, 2011

Go the &%@* to sleep

There are lots of cute kids books about going to sleep.  Mostly they hold absolutely no interest for me even when they try to capture the frustration that erupts when small children who desperately need to sleep refuse to do so... and they never crack me up.  This video (which is Not Safe For Work!) does.  Here is the basic premise:  Samuel L. Jackson reads a story that reads exactly like a story that sounds in every way like a rhyming, cute children's book except it ends each stanza with "Go the &%@* to sleep" or some reasonable facsimile.  It is one of those things that I would never have understood prior to dealing with a small person who desperately does not want to go to sleep on a daily basis - babysitting just doesn't give you the full mindjob.

Initially of course putting a child to sleep reads a little more like you would think it would from a parenting book or a movie - the parents are endlessly patient and loving and take hours if necessary to cater to every whim, need, query or concern that comes up and eventually the child goes to bed happy.  Eventually though you end up in a situation where you have things to do, you are tired as hell, the kid is screaming at you and this has been going on for way too many days in a row and in the back of your mind (hopefully not the tip of your tongue, but the best of us have lapses!) you say "Go the &%@* to sleep"!  The roughest part is trying to wrap your mind around why a thoroughly exhausted, bags under eyes, so tired can't see straight child will so desperately fight sleep while someone tries so hard to convince them to just lie down for couple minutes and surrender to slumber.  

The sheer wonder of the video is that this is a real book and that it is read by Samuel L. Jackson.  As Sthenno said, when the modern Shaft movie was announced he wondered how it could possibly not suck - until he found out that Samuel L. Jackson was starring and then it all became clear.  I don't entirely understand how exactly a person can exude such a powerful influence and possess the sole ability to make a role work or a book innately wonderful but he does.  Perhaps the book would have been good on its own... the very idea of a goodnight lullaby laced with such heartfelt profanity is amusing to say the least but it is Samuel L. Jackson's voice that puts on the finishing touch, the coup de grace.

The knowledge that there are enough other parents out there who have known that feeling, who understand the extreme edge of frustration that occurs when a child simply will not go off to the sleep they desperately need is a wonderful thing indeed.  There is a kinship between parents, a club that I didn't entirely recognize existed until I joined it.  When you are dealing with the insanity that inevitably comes up in parenting it is good to know that this is not the first time anyone has experienced it and therefore it must be survivable.

1 comment:

  1. To this day I refuse to go to sleep even when I'm exhausted.