"Crying Is Frowned upon in Reykjavík"—Letter to My Nine-Month Old Son

SKE English

                                                                                                           August 7th, 2019

Dear son,

If you are reading this, it is probably too late.

Nonetheless, I must say what I must say.

To begin with, crying is frowned upon in Reykjavík—as it is looked down upon elsewhere—and it is not, even among the sissies, an accepted form of communication; if the Poles can speak our language, so can you.

Second, if you cannot go into the toilet, at least go in your diaper. Defecating in the bathtub is unacceptable, especially if you are not its sole occupant (also, excretion, one may argue, runs directly counter to the purpose of bathing).

Third, it is unseemly: the expectation of being carried around everywhere. Even the disabled get around the best they can—without expecting gratuitous carriage from the able-bodied.

Fourth, eat your food. I know I once told you that it was just “edible sunlight,” but I realize now that you have taken my chemical witticism as a gross simplification. In Iceland, food doesn't grow on trees. Nothing grows here. Just the tumors.

Fifth, and finally, sleep is the single most important aspect of health. Rebelling against it, every evening, so vigorously and so melodramatically, is in no one's interest—least of all your own. 

Regards, Father 

PS: Try to comport yourself like a man. It is embarrassing, being told, over and over again, by well-meaning strangers, that one's “daughter looks pretty.” I grow tired of redressing misconceptions.