the wiggliest boy

About 2 weeks ago, landisdad introduced the Sweet Potato to the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes. We have the massive three-volume treasury, and the Potato has been reading it ever since.

A lot of the jokes go over his head, but it’s clear that Bill Watterson had a pretty good insight into what makes a six-year-old boy tick. The Potato is in love with Calvin.

He likes to lie on our bed to read it, and the other night, I was lying there with him, so he could ask me what certain words meant. During the course of probably forty minutes of reading, he was all over the bed. He’s incapable of being still, and it’s totally unconscious. At one point, he climbed up on my back and just sat there, reading all the while.

It’s funny to be around a kid who has so much energy that he can’t stop letting it out, every minute. We worried for a while that he would be too unfocused at school, but he doesn’t have a problem focusing when he’s engaged–which is why he could read a book that is several grades above his reading level for forty minutes.

To an outsider, he must look like the poster child for ADD. We went to the movies today, and despite the fact that he was enraptured by the movie (Alice in Wonderland), he didn’t sit still for more than a minute at a time. I felt bad for the people who were sitting near us–although at least he was at the end of the aisle, so the person to whom it was most noticeable was probably me. But the guy sitting in front of us was not amused, the couple of times the Potato kicked the back of his chair.

While I do try to stop him from actively kicking other people’s chairs (but dude! seriously! if you go to a kids’ movie at 1:40 in the afternoon on a weekend, you are going to sit near kids! see the late night showing!), I’ve given up hope of ever getting him to stop wiggling.

Maybe when he’s in college, he’ll finally sit still in class.


March 28, 2010. books for kids.


  1. penguinunearthed replied:

    My boys LOVE Calvin & Hobbes too. They insist on reading out the jokes to me at all ours of the day or night!

  2. Susan replied:

    Curious Girl is similarly always in motion, something which I have on-and-off fretted about. Just in the past few months I decided to think “who cares if she wants/needs to do forward rolls to get herself from the kitchen to the bathroom to wash her hands before dinner?” which has certainly made me a lot more relaxed…..but I’m feeling a certain reassurance about a sweet tale of another always-moving kid.

  3. elise replied:

    He may never grow out of it! My son who was the same way as a little kid still seems to be the same at 17 years old. I have a video tape of me and him talking when he was in preschool. I was sitting on the couch asking him questions about how old he was, how high he could count, etc. As I sat there and he was answering, you see him roll himself onto the couch, up over the back of the couch behind me until he finally does some sort of somersault off the couch and ends up standing on the opposite side of me. There’s been times now as a teenager that he will RUN/DART across the room and I will be startled and say “WHAT’S WRONG!” He replies “Nothing, I was just going to the living room”.

    Like your son he has never had trouble focusing on things. I think it’s a sign of the times when other people label what I see as normal behavior as ADD. I can remember one mother medicating (with Ritalin) her son that was the same age as Thomas for the exact behavior that we are talking about. It’s all so interesting. I found that I learned to block out the feeling of annoyance that can be felt when you have a kid around you that is in constant motion. I would only notice when I could tell it was bothering other people. I would try to keep my kids from annoying others but I found it exhausting to rein in their movements. I would just want to be home where I could let them just be. On the other hand, I do think it’s necessary to keep after them because they need to learn to be somewhat controlled around people. You can’t just let them go wild either. Now that my kids are older I try extra hard to be understanding of parents with young children.

  4. elise replied:

    PS Because I didn’t say enough in my previous comment (ha ha), I feel it’s necessary to add something. When I had made that video tape when Thomas was younger, I didn’t even notice that he was moving around me that way. I only noticed when I played it back and it looked so funny!

  5. Jackie replied:

    My daughter Sophie is like that too, and she is also a non-stop talker, which is an …..interesting combination! She will completely still herself when she is interested in something, though, she just needs to be engaged (and wiggle).

  6. always home and uncool replied:

    I’m afraid to introduce my boy to C&H. The boy may try to Transmogrify me or something.

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