My kids have always had difficulty attaining nirvana at the end of the day. They’re night owls by nature and strive to ensure that their parents are as sleep deprived as possible. Truth be told, I was willing to try anything. I heard about the ballyhoo surrounding this new book, The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep, by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin. News reports suggest that the book is guaranteed to make your child crash harder than Britney when she shaved her head.
I was initially reluctant, but the Amazon reviews convinced me. Parents all over the planet are raving about this “magical” book. I had visions of some “alone time” with hubby (to sleep) for the first time in years. I plunked in my credit card and stood by my door, waiting for the book to arrive.
When the large, thin envelope was finally delivered by UPS, I hugged the delivery man and told him I would be “getting some” (Zzzzs) tonight and almost invited him in to read it with me. I ripped open the envelope and digested the “instructions to the reader” on the first page. The first warning is, “Never read this book out loud close to someone driving any type of vehicle.” Now I’m thinking I’m glad I didn’t invite the UPS guy in to look at it.
The instructions include several helpful tips, like “read the story from the beginning to the end, even if the child falls asleep.” And at the bottom of the page: “Disclaimer: Even if this book is harmless to use, the author and the publisher take no responsibility for the outcome.”
I decided to stop reading there – because I have to make dinner before the kids get home. I’m still thinking of enjoying an undisturbed glass of wine in the bath, followed by my silk nightgown and 600 threadcount sheet set, so to start the night, I googled “sleep friendly foods” and ended up making some turkey soup for dinner to hedge my chances.
After dinner, we continued our usual nighttime routine — the children had a bath, brushed their teeth and got into their jammies. We snuggled in my son’s bed as I knew I wouldn’t be able to move him if he actually did fall asleep (my daughter’s more portable).
We started the book. It uses bold words to show you when to slow down and emphasize and italics when you’re supposed to read in a fairy tale voice. It also intersperses the children’s names to make it a more personal experience.
By about the fourth page, I thought I was golden. The children were starting to nod their heads as I read.
“Relax your feet, Bobby and Vicky. Roger and you do as Heavy-Eyed Owl tells you and now you relax your feet.”
Suddenly, Bobby’s slightly demonic Chicken Dance Elmo shouted, “Elmo says cluck like a chicken.” The kids’ eyes opened with a spooky, zombified glare, and they started clucking like chickens. My daughter even bobbed her head and flapped her arms at her sides.
I haven’t been able to get them to stop since. I’ve taken them to an array of medical professionals to no avail. It appears the hypnosis is irreversible. They won’t talk, they strut about in their rooms, and I can only get them to eat bird seed that I’ve spread out on the floor.
My husband and I have started legal action against the writer and publisher of the book. Even though the “instructions” on the first page suggest “make sure you are not disturbed while reading,” they never suggested this could be a possible outcome. Our lawyer states that the book’s disclaimer is not legally binding.
If your children have been hypnotized into chickens or other barnyard animals by this book, I’d suggest you contact my lawyer, Marcus Dewey – there are several other families in the same position, and we’ve started a class action lawsuit.
In the meantime, don’t buy the hype. This book is dangerous! I’ve never been one to support book burning, but this book is the exception. If you or someone you love has purchased this book, dispose of it right away, or your children might end up mindless chicken zombies like mine.