Spongebob Squarepants is one of my favorite characters to hate. I don’t know if it’s the stupid voice or the naivete, but he drives me absolutely nuts and I prevent my kids from clicking the play button on Netflix for his show at all costs. He is, however, kind of a cultural phenomenon and my first grader definitely knows all about him no matter how much I try to prevent his presence in my home. This knowledge actually came in super handy when we started working on his geometry homework, and it wasn’t the only important takeaway he got.
Lesson #1 – Spongebob is not a square and neither are his pants
This ridiculous creature has been around for about a zillion years now. How is it that more children have not called him out for being a rectangle? With youngsters learning their shapes as early as two and three years old, this scares me. Does the fact that he is named after the wrong shape add to the stupid that everyone loves about him? In my own home, it wasn’t until my Bug started studying 3D shapes that he has his epiphany.
Bug: “Mom, Spongebob is a cube!”
Me: “No buddy, he isn’t.”
Bug: “Of course he is. He’s a square that is 3D.”
Me: “Are you sure about that?”
Child looks at picture of cartoon character.
Bug: “Whoa. He’s actually a rectangular prism. Why is his name ‘square pants’? That’s dumb.”
Mom for the win.
Lesson #2 – Smiles don’t make the world go round
We like McDonald’s. I’m not ashamed to say I treat my kids to some questionable nuggets and myself to a little sit down time at the play place once a week. They eat plenty of veggies and fish and fruits at home, so I feel more than justified to take a break from being healthy for one day out of seven.
Anyway, Micky D’s has some great branding and there’s a globe with a smiley face on their children’s boxes that says, “Smiles Make The World Go Round”. While it’s adorable and most kids would be completely eating up that messaging, my six year old wasn’t having it.
Bug: “Mom, this is ridiculous. Smiles don’t make the world go round.”
Bug: “No! The earth is a sphere and goes around because of it’s axis.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the earth goes around ON its axis, not because of it. I was just pretty impressed with his level of understanding and ability to make the connection — even if it’s a little early in life for him to be so disillusioned.
Lesson #3 – I like to learn harder stuff
No one was more surprised at this revelation than me. While my oldest is completely brilliant and is constantly surprising me, he’s lazy as shit.
Me: “Bug, what’s your favorite thing that you’re learning in school?”
Bug: “Ya because it’s harder for me, and I like learning hard stuff.”
Me: *Mind blown*
This is coming from the kid who waits until his grandparents send cards on holidays instead of doing chores as a means of saving money. This is coming from the kid who would rather go thirsty than walk in the kitchen and get a glass of milk. This is coming from the kid who lives out of a laundry basket because opening the drawer to put the clothes in is simply too much to ask. Really, division?! Who knew.
I definitely strive to be my child’s teacher when it comes to many things in life, but what he learns in the classroom is truly invaluable —especially if it’ll keep him away from Spongebob.