Generic Baby Sleep Manual: A Review
The following is a review of a Generic Baby Sleep Manual! Usually an excellent gift for first time parents, or bought by more experienced parents whilst under the influence of sleep deprivation, in the hope that their lives may be salvaged through application of the comedy suggestions outlined by the book, to their real lives, thus achieving the ultimate goal-a baby who sleeps through the night.
Author: D. Lusional
Genre: Fiction; Comedy and Fantasy
Synopsis: A work of fiction, propelling the sleep deprived parent through a fantasy journey of hope, and lights at the end of the tunnel, before moving them to a path of frustration (the book has been known to induce yelling, and feelings of utter desperation and uselessness from readers, who pray that some overlap can be made from the fictional narrative, to real life,) before making the abrupt turnaround into moments of comedy gold, with hilarious suggestions as to how the reader can apply rituals to their lives in order to overcome the frustration and yelling, and achieve the stuff of myth and legend: A baby who sleep all night.
I was delighted to be given this book to review, as I love to test my Supermum status by trying to fit reading into days filled with softplay visits, playdates, visits to the park, and other activities I love doing, and to provide glorious distraction from the cycle of making up to 8 different dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and having my patience tested by all of them being either a) thrown at me, b) spat at me, c) thrown on the floor, or d) all three, whilst the darlings simultaneously scream into my face at the brutality of not being allowed chocolate for all of these meals, before invariably asking for the first meal they discarded, which they expect me to salvage from the bin. Also, having graduated from the University of Realistic Parenting, with 100% in modules in Sleep Deprivation, and Wines which help you Best Cope With Shit Sleepers, it was felt I was fully equipped for the job!
It is clear that the Generic Baby Sleep Manual is a work of fiction (new parents may be less inclined to notice so quickly, and may believe it to be real,) when the opening paragraph promises to solve ALL baby sleep problems, with no exception! Not only that, but it promises that the latter end of the book will turn an outrageously badly behaved toddler into a mild mannered angel, in a matter of days! Of course, not only does every parent know this to be impossible, the ways it suggests the taming be done, is nothing short of witchcraft! Furthermore, the author lists their credentials in dealing with unruly toddlers, and I did feel that this section of the book could have made more sense if written by a zoo keeper, as we all know that looking after toddlers is tantamount to caring for a group of wild animals, and if the author really was aiming for authenticity in this section, her credentials are invalid, and a zoo keeper would’ve provided the realism required.
The first real belly laugh came just after the opening pages. There was talk of honing psychic like abilities in order to look at your baby and be able to read their mind! Just like that! Fantastical claims were made that a parent can train their mind like a Jedi, in order to know when their baby is telling them they are tired, hungry, generally pissed off, just about to take a massive dump etc, so that they can intervene and prevent a car crash scenario where the baby chomps on your failing boobs in anger, whilst attempting to punch you in the face, before crapping all up its back in protest at your less than adequate Jedi status. There were also some very fancy acronyms used here, in order to help you do this. To the Realistic Parent, these were pant wettingly funny!
Then we moved onto the good stuff, the comedy gold! The author provides a notion that babies can be trained to sleep at the click of a parents fingers, to times outlined by the author. The outrageously funny comedy notion suggests that every single baby in the universe can be trained like Pavlov’s Dog, to fit to this universal template! Here I simply loved the idea that you are starting to become suspicious that the author really has a God complex, and I started to throw around sub plots and conspiracy theories in my head. It was intense. What if, in this particular book, the author IS actually God? And she has the ability to stealthily hypnotise, and/or inject the universes babies with sedatives, from her place in another realm, in order to achieve her mission? It would certainly make a change from the current Gold Standard Template of getting babies to sleep, from the Royal Institute of Crap Parenting, which we all know is as follows:
Bath the child. In the chaos, half the water will end up on the floor, and half of it will be drank by the child, but the child will be clean.
On the way out of the bathroom, if able, the child must pull the light cord a minimum of three times. If they don’t a tantrum will ensue, thus ruining any calm you have achieved.
Once in the child’s in their bedroom, you must dry them quickly and efficiently, bonus sleep points are given from the child to the parent if they can dry them whilst the child is attempting to roll away/ask to hold every toy it owns/make record decibel breaking requests for milk/chocolate.
Once the child has been battled into its night clothes, it will turn down requested milk, and ask for stories. The same story must be read a minimum of 10 times.
When the child finally accepts being placed in its cot, you must lay next to the cot, and hold his or her hand through the cot bars until they fall asleep. This will invariably end in the parent falling asleep first, and the child will celebrate victory by throwing its dummy at the parents head, to remind them that it calls the sleep shots.
Repeat this final step as many times as necessary for the child to fall asleep.
Oh how The Generic Baby Sleep Manual provided an enchanting, whimsical break from this reality! I found the shifts between comedy and fantasy to be smooth and flowing, and one of the great novelty points of this book.
Next, the rest of the book was made up of hundreds of pages (and I mean HUNDREDS) of rituals, which it encourages parents to try, in order to get a non sleeping baby to sleep immediately. Some of the rituals were comic, and some slightly odd and almost Satanic, a real interesting use of contrasts. I do feel a ‘don’t try this at home’ disclaimer should’ve been included here. Here, any newbie parent could easily be fooled into trying these rituals, and spend many a frustrating hour trying to implement them, when they simply won’t work. They are to be enjoyed for comedy value only!
A real negative point I found with this book is that it tries to brainwash the more unwitting reader into thinking that dummy addiction is a rare occurrence, and that callous use of dummies should be encouraged. As the fiction of the book tries so hard to parallel with reality, I feel it is my place as founder and CEO of Parents of Dummy Addicts Unite, to remind all new and would be parents that ONE SUCK IS ALL IT TAKES. Proceed with dummy use with caution.
So, dear readers, there is my review! To summarise, this well written book will elicit a huge range of emotions from you. If you are massively sleep deprived, you could possibly become anxious and weepy when you reach the end of the story, and realise that sleeping through the night is not a realistic or attainable target. Wine will help, and my module in Wines which help with Shit Sleepers, suggests that a good, crisp Sauvignon Blanc will help with these emotions. But as comedy fantasies go, not bad! I give it a well deserved 4 stars!
Thanks for reading!
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