Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh, those (unwelcome) teachable moments

SpongeBob was having a rough time. See, his grandmother kept treating him like a baby, and now the whole gang at the Krusty Krab was teasing him.

My son and I were lounging on the couch, watching the show. Well, he was lounging. I was engaged in a futile effort of cleaning up the toys, clothes and general junk that seems to constantly clutter our family room.

But I'll admit - I was watching, too. I like SpongeBob. As far as kids' shows go, it's not too bad. It beats that whole Tellytubbies phase, I'll say that. And let's not even talk about those weird Boobahs. (Remember them? What were they?

Anyway, at one point in the episode (which my son and I had both seen before), the cantankerous Squidward is teasing SpongeBob about a lipstick kiss he has on his forehead.

I know who loves you, SpongeBob," Squidward smirks. "Your grandmother!"

Suddenly, from the depths of the couch came my son's voice: "Kick him in the nuts, SpongeBob!!"

Um, What? Excuse me?

This, from my sweet-faced son, the boy who was so shy last year in first grade we had to remind him to make eye contact with his teacher?

Kick him in the nuts? Where did that come from?? At my horrified expression, my son realized he'd said something wrong. He immediately looked contrite, and I steeled myself not to overreact.

"Sean," I said evenly. "That's not really a nice thing to say."

He looked puzzled. "But isn't it a good form of payback?" he asked.

What? We don't live in the 'hood; this kid doesn't get into fights. I made a mental note to review his TV shows and video games.

"It's just not appropriate," I said, avoiding the whole "level of payback" issue. We talked about it a little. "So let's not say it, okay?"

He shrugged. "Okay," he said, and went back to munching on a snack with his adorable little mouth. I wonder what will come out of it next.

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