When Go The F--k to Sleep finally hit shelves this summer, I think we all knew it would be a runaway hit. It made us all feel a wee bit better about the things we've thought but not said about parenting. But now I'm starting to understand why some things are better left unsaid.
Because sometimes, kids find out about it.
As a blogger here at The Stir, I get children's books in the mail from publishing houses. Often I share them with our readers, but only after sharing them with my daughter to get the kid stamp of approval (hey, they're written for her). I have only myself to blame for what this has created: a book monster who sees an envelope on the doorstep and rips into it, eager to see what the next bedtime story will be.
You have an idea of where this is going, don't you?
My kid opened my new copy of If You Give a Kid a Cookie, Will He Shut the F--K Up?, a mix of the two hottest trends in publishing at the moment: parodies of existing books and angry parenting humor.
And now for the real problem. Exactly what made author Marcy Roznick's book a guilty pleasure for me is what made my daughter wrest it from the envelope and throw open the front cover. It's a ribald rip-off of the repetitive "If You Give A . . . " books that make parents all over the world wonder what would happen if you threw them out the window. Adorable on first reading, even the second, by the time your kid has made you read the circular stories 15 times over at one sitting, they begin to wear. I like them because of the way they make my daughter giggle, but I understand my husband's utter and complete loathing.
His hatred ensured this book would make me laugh. Her love ensured she'd spot the familiar lettering and cover and try to read it.
You get where I'm going with this.
If you REALLY want to have a laugh at your kids' expense, do me a favor. Get an e-reader. It will save your back from the jarring pain experienced when you go diving for a book that your child thought was for them.
Do you love this trend toward naughty "children's" books that are really for us? Or has it bitten you in the butt?
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Naughty 'Children's' Books Backfire on Parents Big Time