‘It’s time to kick the seat backs’

Everyone hates those little boys who make it their business to kick a seat throughout a movie, usually one that they shouldn’t even be at, anyway.

This weekend I was clueless parent No. 2 of such a child. I didn’t notice he was shaking up the seat in front of him until the uptight early-20s woman in front of us made her little scene, ostentatiously getting up to move over two whole seats. What martyrdom.

And then, I had a revelation.

The Elder wasn’t doing it for the fun of driving a passive-aggressive stranger completely insane (since she’s clearly not mature enough to, ohmyGod, confront a kindergartner and ask him nicely to stop). No, he was doing it for purely physiological reasons. Namely, in a massive multiplex seat, a kid his height can’t do anything with his feet but kick the chair in front. His legs are too short for his knees to bend at the edge, and if he didn’t periodically thrash his lower body upwards from the barely unfolding seat, he would have simply disappeared into that gaping crevasse.

His only other recourse was to put his feet up on the seat, which he didn’t do, of course, because then his parents would have gotten on his case for having shoes on the upholstery.

Sometimes little boys just can’t win.

But he fought that behemoth stadium-seating armchair nobly, and with far more grace than the many childless people who merely assume kids are at a theater to annoy them.

Nope, lady. My son had a genuine disability: weighing 47 pounds in a supersize world.

Now, the mystery would fully be solved if someone could please explain what a person who can’t cope with the existence of children was doing seeing “The Muppets”?—Jillian O’Connor