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I Blame Reading For His Delinquency

© Lisa Barker

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, son?”

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

* * * * *

LISA 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 for more information.



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