The road to Sponge Bob is paved with good intentions

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS!

A few weeks ago, I was hearing that theme song every day, more than once a day. And I was also hearing little voices chanting “Sponge Bob! Sponge Bob! Sponge Bob!” Actually, they were chanting “Stthpongthe BA! Stthpongthe BA!” Which was pretty adorable.

We took in two short-term foster placements, a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old. Yes, yes we are crazy. It was short-term and an emergency situation though so we wanted to help. Stells was great with it, she was like ‘these new toys are SO life-like!

But getting anything done with three kids under 3? When two of those kids have been uprooted and placed in a strange home and are basically freaking out? Yeah, it’s impossible. So to try and cook dinner we put on an educational dvd, a baby sign language episode.

They watched it for like thirty seconds and then they were back to throwing things, climbing things, crying, fighting, etc. We tried Sesame street, Reading Rainbow, Mr. Rogers.

And then I heard one of them chanting something. I thought it was just something unintelligible, gibberish. But I kept hearing it, and it clicked, the younger one was staring at the TV and chanting “Sttponngth BA!”

No. No, absolutely not. Sponge Bob is a horrible show, no educational value, inappropriate subjects for young children, and it is just annoying to watch. But then I caved. We had to cook dinner, the house was wrecked, I needed to do laundry and cleaning and I just needed silence from the constant screaming and yelling of two very rambunctious toddlers.

And oh my god, why is the younger one naked all of a sudden?!

Sigh. So Sponge Bob put them into a catatonic state which gave us 30 minutes to get dinner and other things done.

What I constantly have to remind myself is that foster children have been completely uprooted, from an already bad situation, and placed with strangers, us. They are traumatized. They don’t know us, they have new beds, new clothes, new food, and they are scared. So while I may not like Sponge Bob, or other things like junk food for kids, those things are part of their “normal.” And if I can provide them with a small sense of similarity from their old home, like watching a favorite TV-show or a favorite food that isn’t exactly healthy, then that’s ok. That gives them something to hold onto in an otherwise very scary situation.

So Sponge Bob it is.


4 responses to “The road to Sponge Bob is paved with good intentions

  1. Bravo! 🙂 I too have said, “Noooo nooo nooo never spongebob in my house!” but in a situation like this, I absolutely think you did the right thing to give those kids the one thing you knew would feel like ‘home’ to them and make all of this that little bit less scary. Good for you. And I am sure it felt good to be able to get some things done too! Ahh… 3 under 3!!!

  2. It’s a challenge to welcome those kids into your house knowing their world was so different from the one you are trying to create for Stella. But taking their history into consideration to make the transition just a bit easier for them, spongebob it is. I love Spongebob…for me. Not my child, but if I were in your shoes, yep, I would exactly the same thing….I’m freaking at 2 under 2 for a few months, 3 under 3 would probably give me heart palpitations. Great job surviving!

  3. ha, I so hear you on the horribleness of Spongebob. I can’t stand the show. But you are right – it isn’t about you, and especially since it’s short term, helping them feel comfortable is the first and more important matter.

  4. Well, I have to admit, I am “that Mama”. When my daughter was 3 (10 years ago), my husband had to start working out of town. I was working full time and could barely keep my eyes open by the time we got home, let alone, cook a meal for us, etc. Sponge Bob came on at 7pm. And I had 30 minutes…30 minutes of doing something. Perfect situation? No. But now I have 3 kids and we are awaiting approval by the state to become foster parents. What have my 3 kids taken from watching Sponge Bob over the years? It’s an episode called, “The Best Day Ever”. We are now “the best daddy ever” or the “best mama ever”. So, do I encourage watching inappropriate shows? No. However, with good intentions and the rest of the environment around them, those 30 minutes aren’t going to mean anything down the road…except maybe becoming “the best _____ ever”.

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