December 1, 2023

Noni Hazlehurst Reads the F**kin’ Sleep Book

I’m returning to familiar territory this morning for no good reason except that I couldn’t resist the temptation to pass along this video of Noni Hazlehurst reading Go the Fuck to Sleep. We’ve featured Adam Mansbach’s Go the F**k to Sleep before. Amy asked, “Is this the beginning of a new trend in ‘kidding around’ lit for parents?” And more recently we chuckled along with Brian while a granny read Go the F**k to Sleep to her less-than-interested grandchild.

Sure, the book’s germane for WNKy DINKs as Mansbach spelled out pretty clearly:

“Despite the tremendous culture of parenting there’s a lot that doesn’t get talked about. Hopefully, the honesty of this book will open up the conversation. These are legitimate ways that we feel, and we should laugh about it, and be honest about these tribulations.” (Today Show)

Opening up the conversation about the breeding/childfree choice is ground zero for Why No Kids? There are plenty of “breeder bashers” and vehement childfree voices calling for change, and though our individual perspectives may sometimes overlap, this blog is an attempt to move beyond entrenched disagreement. This blog is an attempt to provoke, encourage, nurture and support conversation. Dialogue. Debate. The authors do not speak with a unified voice or vision about our childfree choices, nor do we expect that from our readers. But we do hope to catalyze the sort of constructive and healthy consideration that underpins smart choices.

Humor (I’m showing my cards here) is an effective icebreaker. Though Go the F**k to Sleep has inspired the ire of some, many have laughed, have understood that Mansbach is laughing at himself, that he’s employing levity to provoke candor and reflection. He’s not a hater nor an opportunist spotlight junky. He’s a self-deprecating but acclaimed author, and a visiting professor at Rutgers University. Pretty legit credentials, right? And he’s asking you to laugh. And think. And — I’m going out on a limb here — I believe that Australian actress Noni Hazelhurst is doing the same thing in reading Mansbach’s book aloud.

I totally related to it,” she said. “My first child didn’t sleep until he was two, and the first time he did sleep through I thought he’d died.”

The book, and her reading of it, is a bit of fun, she says, “but there’s a serious underlying issue. People need to understand when they’re talking about how nice it would be to have a baby that it’s a huge undertaking.” (The Age)

I hope you laughed. I hope you thought. Don’t stop!