Finally, I’ve found Go to sleep or I let loose the leopard.
Finally, I’ve found a baby book that I can get on with.
If you’ve read any of my previous #badbabybookreviews, you’ll know that I’m very skeptical when it comes to the messages that baby books convey. From encouraging over-eating to searching for dangerous animals, I find some of the literal thinking behind these books absurd.
But then I come across this gem. Go to sleep or I let loose the leopard is everything a baby book should be – fun, creative and a behavioral tool that can be used in any situation.
What is Go to sleep or I let loose the leopard about?
Some horrid little brats refuse to sleep for their poor, hassled new babysitter. She repeatedly has to keep traipsing up and down the stairs telling them to get back into bed. Each time they oblige for all of ten seconds.
Eventually, the poor babysitter resorts to threats to get the horrid children back into bed. These threats range from sleep-zapping robots, to toy-munching monsters, to child-nibbling plants (complete with a great picture of a boy being eaten by a monster cactus).
However, the kids are just plain rude. With each threat, they have a smart-arse comeback. You don’t have this, you haven’t got that, there’s no such thing. They literally laugh in the desperate woman’s face.
I’d probably punch them. Even though they’re likely to be right (and it’s against the law, and my morals and all that). Not our awesome babysitter though. Instead, she tells them she’s going to let loose the leopard. When they laugh that she hasn’t got one, she tells them “That’s what you think,” and calmly goes back downstairs.
Yes, lady! Parenting (or babysitting) at it’s finest. Keep them on their toes, keep them guessing – never reveal your true hand (we are still talking about parenting and not gambling FYI).
They hear her open the cage and a growl from downstairs. Exciting stuff for us disciplinarians. She tells them she’s let it loose and panic ensues.
OMG a leopard!? So what happens?
They see it coming and they pretty much sh*t themselves.
To be honest, I pretty much sh*t myself too.
I’m aware the book title suggests she would let loose the leopard, but I didn’t think she actually would. I started to feel a bit concerned for the safety of the children (even though I think they’re twats). I mean, you leave your babies with a stranger in the good faith that they’ll keep them safe. The fear of someone setting a wild cat on them because they won’t sleep is real.
Turns out, the leopard is actually nice. In fact, he’s so snuggly and purry that the children fall asleep in no time. Neat trick. I don’t know where she sourced a friendly, sleep-inducing leopard from, but I want one. It would beat a smelly, snoring husband in my bed any day of the week!
So the leopard is nice, bit disappointing isn’t it?
Well, my friend, that’s what I thought.
I’m all for the adrenaline-rush of nearly witnessing youngsters being mauled to death for disobeying bespectacled care-givers. So I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t happen in the end. Although it’s probably a good thing seeing as this is a baby book.
I thought we’d reached the end of the tale. But when I turned the page, I was in for a real treat. Turns out, all of the outlandish threats were very real. They were sitting downstairs, waiting to be called upon. The robot, toy-monster and child-nibbling plant just chilling together with some grub.
This is what baby books should look like. Toy with their emotions, take them to the brink and back; leave them wanting more. The lesson is loud and clear; do what you’re told because you never know if the monsters set on you will be nice or not.
Thank you, babysitter, you’ve finally restored my faith in baby books.