My five-year old is learning to read. This is
NOT a good thing. He’s reading Calvin and Hobbes.
You may recall that this is the child that recently took a
ride on the back bumper of the UPS truck. This is also the
child that escaped from home for most of his third and fourth
years of life; the same child that once scaled bookcases and
dressers; the one who now thinks he’s old enough to drive.
“Momma, you just passed a stop sign.”
“Yes, I did but...”
“Stop! You have to stop!”
“I did stop! You’re supposed to stop and then you go!”
Now I’m screaming, too. It doesn’t faze him. He points out
that I just ran a red light. Er....
So now he reads Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin is a very
imaginative little boy and Hobbes is his stuffed tiger. Calvin
is Dennis the Menace to the 100th power. My son worships
Calvin. Can you see where I am going with this?
He walked by me the other day on his way out the door with a
pair of pants on his head and a shirt on his legs. “Uh,
He very succinctly explained that he had done that on purpose.
“I WANT TO DRESS THIS WAY!”
“Okay, fine.” I figured the neighbors could use a good
laugh and sooner or later my son’s gene for embarrassment
will kick in.
Then, he wanted to take all my pots and pans outside and bang
on them. Next he had on a cape and a pair of underwear on his
head and was headed for the fence to jump off. It finally
donned on me that I might have to censor his reading material.
So we read Calvin and Hobbes together and I point out how the
pictures change to show silly things that Calvin is
pretending. I thought maybe he wouldn’t take Calvin so
literally if he understood that it was just pretend. Ha.
Now he springs off the sofa and tackles his brother just like
Hobbes the tiger tackles Calvin. This causes three things to
happen. His brother goes into histrionics, I start yelling,
and he bursts into a fit of laughter...because he just loves
it when Calvin and Hobbes get in trouble like that.
So now I’m stuck. I don’t want to kill his love for
reading, but he’s memorizing Calvin’s every move. Like how
to lock the babysitter out of the house, how to destroy the
furniture as if he were a dinosaur and how to cause tidal
waves in the bathtub.
I’m pretty sure Bill Watterson didn’t intend to make
delinquents out of kindergartners, but Aiden is studying
Calvin and Hobbes and I’m afraid. Very afraid.
Copyright Lisa Barker
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BARKER of Greenfield is a syndicated humor columnist and mom
of five. Her latest book is "Just Because Your Kids Drive
You Insane ... Doesn't Mean You Are A Bad Parent!" See
www.JellyMom.com for more information.