You Have to F*cking Eat: Hilarious or offensive?

Author Adam Mansbach follows up on the success of his last child-related book with "You Have to F*cking Eat", which hits bookstores this month.

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Photo: Amazon.ca

“You have to f*cking eat something!”

If you haven’t mentally thought made that statement while staring down your stubborn child, than you are a better parent than I am.

Adam Mansbach, author of bestselling Go the F*ck to Sleep has taken on mealtime struggles as his next book topic. You Have to F*cking Eat hits stores today and, while the words may rhyme, don’t be mistaken—this is not a book to be shared with kids.  Like in his first book, Mansbach has tackled a topic of universal frustration for parents and turned into a deceivingly sweet, sarcastic and F-bomb laden picture book.

A sample stanza:

The sunrise is golden and lovely,

The birds chirp, and twitter and tweet,

You woke me and asked for some breakfast,

So why the f*ck won’t you eat?

And what parent can’t relate to this?:

You’re not finished and no, you can’t go to school

In pajamas, a hat and bare feet,

Whatever, put your shoes on and bring me your plate,

My whole diet’s the sh*t you won’t eat

The demands of producing another instant book classic weighed on the father of a six-year-old daughter, but he said in a statement that he couldn’t write another book until he found a topic that was as challenging as a bedtime routine. “I always said I’d only do one if it rang true to me—if I felt like I could imbue it with the same kind of honesty, love, and frustration as the first book. And eating is the other universal source of parental anxiety, a battle of wills just as pitched as sleep can be.”

Read more: 7 healthy dinners even picky eaters will love>

Go the F*ck to Sleep landed on the New York Times Bestseller list, was translated into several languages and boasted a recorded audio version from actor Samuel L.Jackson. Mansbach also wrote a child-friendly companion book, No, Seriously go to Sleep, and penned a Jamaican Patois version, Go de Rass to Sleep, with the audio done by the singer Shaggy. None other than Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston, is in talks to record the audio version of You Have to F*cking Eat. I think that would get anyone to eat their dinner—regardless of their age.

Despite its popularity, Mansbach received his fair share of criticism after the release of the first book. Annie of PhDinParenting felt uneasy with the tone of the book. She wrote that she couldn’t endorse the message any more than she could endorse a comedian who made inappropriate jokes. She says there are more “reasonable requests, even for our inside voices, than “[blank] the f*ck [anything].”

I respectfully disagree. I think anything that makes parents feel less alone—and provides us with an outlet for our aggravation without placing blame on the kids—is a refreshing change. A lot of parenting is both lovely and irritating, and there’s no question that sleep and food are the main sources of parental frustration, especially during those early years.

The question is, what comes next in the Mansbach F-bomb lineup? Some parents are lobbying for a potty training book, but I’m hoping the next one is called Just Do Your F*cking Homework, followed by Put Down Your F*cking Screen. If Mansbach isn’t quite up to writing those versions I think that I could help him out with some stanzas.

For example:

Your friends are gone and the dinner hour is past

The TV is off and gymnastics are done,

If you sit in your chair upright for five minutes

We can learn the two timetables really f*cking fast.

How was that as a start?

Emma Waverman is a writer, blogger and mom to three kids. She has many opinions, some of them are fit to print. Read more of her articles here and follow her on Twitter @emmawaverman.

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