Monday, January 16, 2012

The Life Cycle of a Non-Alien

My five year old isn’t human.

If you call him that, he’ll deny it. Whenever it comes up in natural conversation (as the question of being human always does) he lets everyone know he’s not.

At the grocery store, he’ll say, “Look at that human over there.”
The clerk scanning our gourmet canned chicken chunks will smile and say, “Are you an alien?”

At the post office, he’ll say, “Why is that human taking so long?”
The guy in front of us buying Elvis stamps will raise an eyebrow and say, “Does that mean you’re an alien?”

During Sunday brunch with Elvis, my five year old will say, “Why does that human’s lip keep going up like that?”
And Elvis will touch his raised lip and say, “Now, don’t go tellin’ me you think you’re an alien. Everyone knows aliens aren’t real.”

It’s not that he has anything against humans. And there’s nothing wrong with being an alien, either, if that’s your thing. They’re all dandy, in his book. But he’s not one of them.

According to my five year old, he’s “just a kid.”

This is how he explained the human life cycle to me the other night over our gourmet dinner of canned chicken chunks:

1. People start out as babies.
2. Then they become kids.
3. Then they become humans.
4. Then the humans have babies, who become kids, who become humans, then have more babies.

Out of curiosity, I asked when kids become human. Apparently we all go through The Change when we reach the ripe old age of 18.

Every time I look in the mirror, I see a human staring back at me, sneaky gray hairs and all. Secretly, I sometimes still feel like a teenager inside. So maybe I’m not quite human yet, either.

But don’t tell anyone. I don’t want Elvis to think I’m an alien the next time he comes over for Sunday brunch.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, if that’s your thing.


  1. Cute..He's probably not so far off if he started calling some of the older folks non-human as well. But he is at the age that i remember my children starting to realize death and dying. Asking questions. He's just trying to reason out all this "life" stuff. Sounds like he's off to a good start.

  2. I think you're right, Jamie! And I think I'll probably get less human the older I get, too.

  3. So being human is nothing but a number. I can live with that. Your kiddo is superfly!

  4. He's a smart kid. I've decided to keep him :)

  5. Hahahaha. That's so adorable. I wish I could still be a little kid....there's something to be said for the interesting perspectives children have on the world.

  6. That's one of the many great things about having kids. You get to see the world from a whole new perspective all over again!