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February 22, 2005

Alien Nation

Lately, our son Graham has been experiencing a language explosion. He is beginning to read words that he sees in billboards, advertisements and new books. His handwriting is improving and he likes to write us “notes,” giving directions such has how to discover who made the mysterious footprints in the snow outside his window.

For Valentine’s Day, he made me a poster with the words “Happy Valentine’s Day, Moo Moo Mom.” He wrote all the words by himself except “Valentine’s” and he got that by asking for each letter individually, followed by a frantic run up and down the stairs to add it to his poster. (What the ‘Moo Moo Mom” mean, I don’t know. He only laughed when I asked him.)

Graham has even started to tell us what certain words mean in Spanish, a sign that something must be clicking in his weekly class at school.

But the biggest surprise has been to learn that he is completely fluent in another foreign language - Alien. That’s right; Graham can conduct entire conversations and sing songs with multiple lyrics and a repetitive chorus, all in Alien. Who knew?

When I try to speak Alien with him, my attempts are rebuffed with a snort and a “No, Mommy, that’s not right.” Apparently the only one who also is fluent in Alien is his buddy Quinn.

At school their teacher has limited their Alien conversations to the playground and other play times. During learning periods or lunchtime, they are directed to use “human talk” so others can understand them. Other than that, she’s cool with their new language and so are we.

Graham can even translate Spanish phrases into Alien. How many people can say their four-year-olds are trilingual? It makes me think of the classic line from the movie “Airplane” when Beaver Cleaver’s mom offers her translating skills with, “Excuse me. I speak jive.”

His translation ability could come in handy some day if and when we are ever invaded by interplanetary forces. Come to think of it, Graham made a correct football prediction last fall by saying that aliens had told him in a dream that the Vikings would score 24 points against the Packers in the play off game. Okay, so he was close but not completely accurate. Maybe part of the alien transmission bounced off our TV dish.

When we completed his kindergarten application forms last month, we were asked what was the primary language spoken at home and which language did he choose to speak. Funny, the language choices covered everything from Inuit to Swahili but no Alien.

Guess I’ll be calling the principal on that one. I’m sure it will be the first of many interesting conversations that we have about our son – in “human talk.”

Posted by maasx003 at February 22, 2005 7:20 PM | Family


Graham has more languages than the United Nations. He'll end up in International communications.

Posted by: Brian Maas at August 12, 2005 6:41 AM