Yesterday was one of those looooong days that involved me thinking about bedtime (for myself) beginning at around 10 a.m. I used to have more of those when the boys were little, but back then those days would involve me directing all of our energies to the arrival of nap time, which included everyone. These days, I can’t complain (though here’s a small try), but the tough days can be tough if you don’t summon the energy to make people go to their room for a little quiet time. I do that here and there but most days it’s just easier to stay moving.

All that is to explain this next sentence: So, we were watching Spongebob…

The watching Spongebob part isn’t too big a deal, it’s possible the kids are watching it right now. But I was there too, on the floor watching. Laughing til my abs hurt (is the summer dragging on? It’s highly likely. But that Patrick? He’s so hysterical.). And this episode of SB came on that involved Spongebob’s spatula and mad crabby patty skillz versus a new machine trucked in by Squidword to put The Bob out of a job.

I would lie to you right now and say I had to look up all those names and facts but the truth is they all came quickly and with much clarity. Have I mentioned we don’t go back to school until September 9? Right.

So the cutesy episode plays, Spongebob versus the machine, and the the machine is trying so hard with all its might and it looks like it might beat Spongebob and that will be the end of all things as we know it. Technology trumps man. The end of human might. The industrial revolution is the downfall of humanity.

“This is based on a book we used to read,” I said to Ethan and Elliott. “Do you remember it?”

They vaguely remembered…we kept watching.

“It was about a….”

and they were hazy on the details.

“Remember?” I prodded, “Mike Mulligan…”

That helped. They recalled it was some kind of digger.

“Right! His steam shovel,” I said, suddenly feeling the way I do as I walk my toddlers through learning the Hail Mary.

We kept watching, and a light bulb went off.

“I remember this!” said Elliott.

“Yay!” I said, “Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel named…”

“Tracey?” said Elliott.

Close. Oh my goodness so very close indeed. But you know what? I’ll take it as a win — at least they know the episode is based on the children’s classic by Virginia Lee Burton. And not the other way around.


  1. HA!!! Bash’s very favorite book. He’s on a not terrible path then …. I hope!

  2. Awwww!! All my boys LOVED that book! We even own a VERY bedraggled copy that I bought after checking it out from the library week after week after week. Maryanne….!

  3. One of our favorite books. 14 yr old starts High School today. Thanks for the reminder of simpler days.

  4. Aunt Catherine says:

    I just had a billy madison flashback with the puppy who lost its way…