After our vacation in Los Angeles, Sasha returned to New York with dangerous knowledge—the knowledge that there exists a cartoon character named SpongeBob. Or, as she calls him, AssBob. She may never have watched the show with the sound on, but she knows he’s there, and that her mother will, on request, draw a picture of the optimistic yellow Porifera.
Last week, however, Sasha made the mistake of asking me to draw AssBob. Now, I’m capable of many things that will impress toddlers. I can put my own clothes on. I can build a house out of Legos. I can wipe my own butt, and pour myself a glass of orange juice. In that order!
But I can’t draw. At best, I can doodle, but frankly, everything I doodle looks the same—the same funny character with wavy hair, a big nose and a silly grin.
Toddlers don’t understand this. Sasha demanded, so I complied, trying hard to remember just what AssBob looked like: the baseball cap, the pointy nose, the eyelashes. Using Sasha’s Magna-Doodle, I did my best and presented it to her.
“Noooo,” she cooed, shaking her head.
“SpongeBob,” I insisted.
“Noooo,” she said again, smiling.
So, I erased and tried again. This one proved acceptable to Sasha, finally, but then Jean came home from work and saw it. I’d forgotten his tie, she said, and what had I drawn in place of pants? It looked like a grass skirt.
Yeah, well. We can’t all be fashion designers.
Anyway, Sasha hasn’t yet come to the conclusion that her father can’t draw, but that day will definitely come. As Nathan wrote last week, your child “will believe in you all the way up until that night in December 2019 when you do that thing with that thing, and then there’s antifreeze involved. Then she will realize what a putz you are. Until that happens, though, there’s going to be adoration and expectation.”
Only in my case, I think December 2019 is more likely to be December 2011. If I’m lucky.