By SFK, Jewel, Changi

A very interesting read for parents of young children who find bedtimes and getting them to sleep a challenge, night after night.

 

“Putting our 3-year-old son to bed isn’t a task my wife and I undertake lightly. On a typical night, there will be actual physical struggles and a great deal of bitter haggling over the particulars — over whether it will be she or I who keeps vigil as he bravely contends against his own fatigue, over how many stories will be read to him and which ones. There will also, typically, be a series of increasingly hostile demands for glasses of water, and at least one trip to the toilet that will eventually be exposed as a cynical diversionary tactic.”

 

This article is about the discovery of the book The Rabbit who Wants to Fall Asleep by Swedish writer Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, who writes in the “Instructions to the Reader” section that passages in bold text should be emphasized, while italicized passages should be read in a particularly slow and calm voice. Used injudiciously, he writes, the book “may cause drowsiness or an unintended catnap,”

 

It is about the power of reading and the power of words, coupled with repetitive prose – lying there thinking about falling asleep, now. He was lying there thinking about all the things that can make him tired now, all those things that usually would make him tired and sleepy, so tired and sleepy – that help a child fall asleep through tone, modulation and suggestion.

 

Read the full article.

By Mark O’Connell for the 29 April 2016 edition of the New York Times.