This week, my friend Todd (nicknamed “Tater Todd”) lent me a book this week called, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It was a thoughtful gesture on their part, as they assumed (correctly) that our son’s sleep schedule is getting better, but still slightly erratic.
Citing the book as a “lifesaver,” I picked up the book and…holy cow! This book is thick. Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Before I even get started, let me turn to the last…657 pages? Are you fucking kidding me, Tater?? 657 pages?!
You want me (just my wife!) to read a 657-page book in order for our kid to sleep for a few hours? Are you daft? Who would buy this?
There’s a quote-review on the front cover: “I put these principles into practice—with instant results. Dr. Weissbluth is a trusted resource and adviser.” And the quote is from…Cindy Crawford??
Cindy Crawford. The same woman who says that her wrinkle-free skin is due to a facial cream that has an extract from a melon that doesn’t expire as quickly as other melons. I’ve been up at 3:00am, I’ve seen her infomercials. There’s a melon that stays fresher longer than most melons, so there’s this French doctor, Dr. Sebagh, who decided that human skin is the same as a melon husk and is now a millionaire.
That is not a joke. Here is an actual product description for her Youth Activating Melon Serum (italics added by me to show the fuck-all stupidity): “Super-charged serum harnesses the skin-restoring power of our next generation miracle melon technology. Melon leaf stem cells are encapsulated for maximum potency to visibly plump and firm skin, even tone and increase radiance.”
And this woman wants to tell me how to get my kid to sleep? Cindy Crawford’s record of “reputable doctors” leaves me a bit skeptical, what with the melon skin and all.
What is this book going to tell me? Squeeze a half-lemon into my kid’s face and he should be calm for a few hours? Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe I’m being ignorant. Let’s open a random page. Here we go, page 290: “Crying: All Babies Cry Some of the Time.”
Well, you just blew my fucking mind, Dr. Weissen-Shyster. The first 289 pages I’m sure were a real drag until you turned the page and come across that little turd of wisdom and it all became worth it.
(Deep sigh) Folks, I think we have a House of Leaves situation here. About 10 years ago, another friend of mine, John, read a book called House of Leaves and he wanted to share it with anyone who would listen. He described the plot to me as, “A story about a house that’s larger on the inside than the outside.”
And I thought, like, spiritually? Because of the family and stuff? But no, physically larger. Measurements from the inside don’t match the outside and the inside of the house gets bigger and bigger.
What ensued was the most mind-numbingly, frustrating book I had ever read. There was backwards text, footnotes whose explanations themselves went on for pages, spiral text, text that only went along vertically along the perimeter of the page…it was a mess.
But John kept spreading the book around like a mental STD until most of us were smacking our heads to get the thoughts out.
I didn’t think I’d come across another book like it until Tater Todd, using a crane I assume, dropped this book off on our front stoop.
Also, Todd, there’s now a large crack (chasm, really) on the front step from where this book was lowered. I’m gonna need you to fix that. I don’t want Grettle’s paw to get stuck in there.
My assumption here is one of irony. I don’t think Todd and his wife can get any sleep until they pawn this book off on some unsuspecting parents. They say the book was a life-saver, but I think our acceptance of the book is what saved them.
It’s the monkey’s paw of child-rearing! Come December, this book is on a first-class flight to New York for another couple who is expecting. Hey, Rob and Brianna. Read this book. It will save our lives if you do.