put the right letters together & make a better day
In the midst of winding down another school night this week, I decided that, rather than allow my kindergartner to complete his zombie transformation by watching yet another episode of SpongeBob Squarepants, we should do something to reinforce the lessons he's been collecting during his first month of school.
I did this, mind you, despite the fact that this was a rare episode of SpongeBob Squarepants I hadn't seen and I was rather curious to know how the brewing confusion and tingly feelings of lust and anger would play out in the simmering love triangle between SpongeBob, Patrick and Gary after Patrick had just heartlessly told SpongeBob to "f off" because he'd chosen Gary.
Retiring to my son's room to help him get ready for bed, we chose to play the "Alphabet Game." If you're wanting to play along at home, the rules are simple. One person secretly chooses a letter and then turns to their opponent and makes them guess the letter based on the sound it makes. To earn additional points, the opponent must then name at least one word that begins with the letter. Points increase if more than one word can be named. Or shouted. When playing with a five year old, it's most often the case the words will be shouted, along with other mysterious chirps and squeals.
Knowing the kid is a kindergarten Mensa, I gave him no leeway with my first shot. "What letter makes the 'mmm' sound?"
"M," he replies, and then decides to up the ante on the game by "air writing" the upper and lowercase versions of the letter for me. "Impressive, mister," I said. "Way to bring your 'A' game. But before you get cocky, tell me a word that starts with the letter 'm'"
"Mommy," he replied.
"Who is the best student EVER?" I asked, all charmed and clutching at my heart, yet onto his clear attempt at trying to end this educational foray and weasel his way back to SpongeBob (admittedly, so was I, for I left feeling bad for SpongeBob. Freakin' game playing Patrick).
We proceeded to run through letters and words. "Daddy." "Grandpa." "Car." Winding our way down, I moved onto the letter 'P'. After we affirmed the sounds and how to write it, I asked for a word.
"Potty," my precious said, a smirk breaking open under his nose.
"Sure, but can you think of another?" I asked, not looking to encourage the, um, potty humor that typically gets me giggling like a child.
"Pee. And poop," he said, not missing a beat, and before I could ask for another example, I got "penis." Because yes, we're not just up on the alphabet, folks. We've got a pretty strong lock on the anatomy and biology lessons, too.
Thinking it would be a good idea to perhaps backtrack, I suggested what turned out to be not such a great idea when gave him the letter 'F' as his next challenge. By now, he'd opted to skip telling me what the letter sounded like or looked like when written and went right into, as they say, a F word.
"Fart," he sang (sang!!). "Fart, fart, fart, fart, fart."
Then he figured why not demonstrate. So he did. Literally blew me away. Then used the word in a proper sentence to inform me he'd just farted, and rolled off his bed in a fit of laughter.
"Lesson learned, little man," I told him, looking skyward and thanking God I'd changed my major from education during my freshman year of college. Clearly, I have no control over a classroom. You'd think I'd know this after the great homophone incident of October 2006, but apparently I'm a bit of a masochist when it comes to the schooling.
Luckily, we got through our lesson with time to find out how SpongeBob, Patrick and Gary resolved their bizarre love triangle (waves to my gurl!), and happily discovered that all was well underwater. The gang had learned their lesson. As for me, I apparently need new lesson plans. And maybe the ability to not be quite so proud that this child of mine went for the easy fart joke at first opportunity.
Alas, magna cum laude, little dude. You are your mother's son.
(note to SpongeBob: next time some lame ass starfish asks to see you without your pants on, quickly scuttle away. and quit yer wimperin' when he says he wants Gary.)