Here's the sequel every parent has been waiting for!
In 2011's best-selling Go The F**k to Sleep, author Adam Mansbach and illustrator Ricardo Cortés explored a treacherous battle braved by many a parent: the seemingly impossible task of getting their seemingly fatigue-proof, Energizer bunny-like children to get some shut-eye. Cleverly formatted as a children's book for adults, the side-splitting tome included rhyming verses that touched upon the stalling tactics employed by so many bedtime-loathing kids: pretending to be dying of thirst, asking mommy or daddy to read them a second or third book, claiming they need to use the bathroom, and so forth. Three years later, Mansbach is back, this time joining forces with illustrator Owen Brozman, to explore yet another source of parental frustration — fussy eaters —via a new book dubbed You Have to F**king Eat (Akashic Books).
Poised to hit stores on November 12th, You Have To F**king Eat will surely be chock full of humorous truisms delivered in the lullaby-worthy rhyme format that distinguished its predecessor and made it such a cheeky literary release. It will also likely be punctuated with profanity to convey the frustration shared by every parent who has attempted to coerce an uncooperative child eat a healthy meal. Though some parents are blessed with kids who have naturally curious dispositions and are surprisingly willing to expand their palates, most of us have racked our brains about how to prod our kids into having balanced diets.
We've all tried making airplane sounds in hopes of landing one spoonful of peas or squash puree inside a toddler's mouth. We've chopped vegetables into tiny pieces and attempted to hide them inside a persnickety kid's rice or pasta meal. We've attempted to convince our kids that an unfamiliar fish or meat dish tasted "just like chicken." We've made our little ones pancakes only to have them claim they now detest their once favorite breakfast dish. This tome, then, will likely be met with as much success due to its ability to crystallize common parental struggles.
If Mansbach keeps employing this model for future books, here are just a few subjects he could broach:
- Go brush your teeth!: You can buy all the Dora and Spongebob toothbrushes and flavored toothpastes in the world, but that won't make your little ones actually use these dental devices--much less do so for the recommended 2-minute minimum.
- For heaven's sake, take a bath! For almost three years, I approached my son's bathtime with utter dread. He'd try to climb out of the tub like a hydrophobic puppy, whimper whenever water touched his face, and generally scream and cry like he was being cooked in a witch's boiling pot. I tried giving him rubber duckies and boats to make the experience less traumatic. I bought bathtub crayons. I sang to him. Nothing worked. Eventually, the phase came to an end, but it was brutal!
- Stop the questions already! A child's inquisitive nature is worth celebrating, but even the most patient parent can feel overwhelmed after a barrage of "Whys." It would be fun to see what naughty and probably completely inappropriate yet hysterically funny answers Mansbach imagines giving a toddler when he asks, "But why?"
- Pee INSIDE the toilet! It takes most boys years to master urination--from standing up in front of the toilet to lifting the seat, properly unzipping their pants, and aiming with some degree of accuracy. But, for many parents, the real challenge is getting boys into the bathroom in the first place! Not only are many young boys bed-wetting machines, but they're prone to waking up in the middle of the night and, in their confusion, wind up peeing in the kitchen garbage can or even inside a pair of gym shoes. And don't get me started on toddler boys' willingness to take their pants off and pee anywhere in public: inside a convenience store, in a public park, in an elevator...
- Leave me alone! Yes, we love our babies, but every once in a while, we'd like them to understand that "me" time has to happen without them. We're not asking for much--just a peaceful shower taken with the door closed, a 10-minute phone conversation without interruptions, or the freedom to walk into another room of the house without being tailed. That shouldn't be so difficult, right? Tell that to our toddlers!
Really, the possibilities here are endless! Let's just hope Mansback stays inspired!
Image via Akashic Books