Of all the discourse that's been presented over the sleepy bestseller Go the F*ck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach, the recent Slate piece by Katie Roiphe definitely takes the cake.
If you can make it through the psychoanalytic mumbo jumbo and various adjectives that show Roiphe has Thesaurus on speed Google, you'll glean this brilliant morsel:
Dads are misdirecting their sexual frustration.
Apparently Adam Mansbach isn't really mad that his kid isn't going the fuck to sleep, but rather that he's not getting laid because of it.
If his kid would just sleep already, and stop asking for water and potty breaks, he could get a blow job from his wife while he eats his freshly popped popcorn and watches his movie.
But alas, his son keeps interfering with his plans and he's left with a couple of blue balls and a wife snoozing on the couch.
Just another day in the life of the poor deprived, pussy-whipped American Dad.
Roiphe's resolution is simple: Get a sitter so you can get out of the house and leave your kid alone, you self-obsessed, sex hungry parents.
And sure, we parents could all use a night out, where we can toss a few drinks back, eat hot food off a plate that we don't have to share or cut up for someone else, and talk in proper English where Rs don't sound like Ws.
But what if Mansbach's book is just a funny, satirical look at the challenges of parenting? That's it. Nothing more. A raunchy, bawdy, maybe even offensive to some interpretation of every parent's eye rolls, heavy sighs, and head slaps.
And that anyone, even Mother Theresa herself, might get a little annoyed after a kid climbs out of bed for the 40th time -- asking for yet another glass of water after you just gave him one about four minutes prior.
Or that he suddenly needs to use the potty again even though you just sat on the floor of the bathroom and watched him urinate in the toilet.
It's not pent up sexual frustration -- this perceived annoyance that our monthly hand job will be cut short, damnitalltohell.
It's that we would gladly sleep, on command even, and yet, our children fight it like we're making them snuggle up in a bed of coals.
It's that we are being rendered helpless by a 3-year-old who knows exactly how to push our buttons with manipulative brilliance.
It's that hearing our inner dialogue out loud is pretty fucking funny.
Complain about your job and it's just that. Complaining about your job.
But complain about parenting and suddenly you're a psychological mess in need of therapeutic intervention and a reality check.
Of course, Roiphe does have a point -- we parents do need to have more sex. But not the sort of pitiful sex in a withering relationship that centers solely around the welfare of our children to the detriment of our own beings.
Welcome to 2011 -- where dads are active fathers and partners who aren't wishing their wife would drop a few pounds, add a boob size, and put out already, and where moms are supportive co-parents who aren't making their vagina the reward for their husband's dutifully completed honey-do lists.
We're parents. We like to laugh.
Sometimes, it's just as simple as that.
The Parental is Political
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