The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Goodnight Nanny-Cam

Placeholder while article actions load

That old favorite — or not, if you’ve read it 9,392 times, as I have — Goodnight Moon has been parodied, parodied and parodied some more. There was Goodnight iPad: A Parody for the Next Generation, an affectionate send-up of techie parents. There was Goodnight Keith Moon: A Parody!, a paean to the Who’s irrepressible drummer. There was Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody (“In a cold grey tomb, with a black lagoon…”). And, just this week, there was Slate’s Goodnight Snow Days — retweeted endlessly as parents tried to get through yet another day with kids home from school.

Which brings us to Jen Nessel and Lizzy Ratner’s Goodnight Nanny-Cam: A Parody for Modern Parents. If the title sounds familiar, that’s because it’s hitting your demographic– it originated as a 2012 “Shouts & Murmurs” column in The New Yorker. So what might you find in this book — aside from another gag gift for new parents, along the lines of Go the F**k to Sleep? For one thing, you might find a bit of yourself. Oh, sure, you’ll laugh at first. Then you’ll realize that you have half these products in your own well-thought-out nursery. Here goes:

In the great green certified room (Any BPA in your house? Didn’t think so.)

There was a smart phone (The 6-year-old has learned to read. That’s good. You now catch him reading your iPhone texts. Not good.)

And a silver spoon (What to do with that weird gift from Aunt Edna?)

And a picture of a high-contrast, brain stimulating black-and-white moon (We know: You wanted that sweet farm-animal mobile, but hung the black-and-white blocks instead, thinking they would make your kid smarter.)

A few of the other parodied items? High window guards. French flash cards (Oui? Non.) Toys without phthalates. (Did you spend hours pouring over the Environmental Working Group’s Web site in those early days? Just me? Oh.)

And a biligual nanny who was whispering “hush” (Le hush.)

Goodnight baby monitor and the nanny-cam (Also known as our children’s first introduction to the NSA.)

Goodnight sunscreen (check), sunglasses (yep), sleep sack (of course), outlet cap (duh).

And, the kicker: Goodnight alpha parents everywhere.

Anyone else tired?


(Credit: By Jen Nessel & Lizzy Ratner. Illustrated by Sara Pinto. Published by arrangement with PLUME, a member of Penguin Group (USA), LLC.)