Monday, February 1, 2010

My 6-Year-Old Wants E.T. to Come Home

MY SON: Hey, Daddy, why doesn’t E.T. come back to Earth?

ME: Because E.T. is from a movie.

MY SON: But Santa Claus is from a movie, and he comes back to our house every Christmas.

ME: Well, E.T. can’t come back to Earth because . . . Remember in the movie when he gets really sick and he turns all white?

MY SON: Yeah, I remember.

ME: Well, that’s because our planet got him really sick and made him turn all white. And that’s why, when his buddies came back to Earth to pick him up, they just landed, popped the spaceship doors open, yelled for E.T. to get in quick, and then they tore up out of here before they, too, got really sick and turned all white.

MY SON: Do you think E.T. is having fun in space? Do you think he plays games out there?

ME: Of course he plays games out there.

MY SON: What kind of games?

ME: The regular stuff. Soccer. Tag. Bocce ball.

MY SON: I could easily win E.T. in tag. He’s so slow.

ME: Well, you have legs -- you can run fast. E.T. doesn’t have legs -- he can’t run fast. And so since E.T. and his buddies all hobble along slowly, the game is even, and so it’s a lot of fun.

MY SON: Do E.T. people have bikes?

ME: I don’t think so because, like I said, they don’t have legs. So it’d be hard to peddle.

MY SON: Hey, Daddy, why can’t E.T. just buy a helmet at Walmart or someplace like that so he can come back to Earth and not get sick? Remember you said we’d need helmets if we went to space? Why can’t E.T. just wear a helmet when he comes here?

ME: Maybe he’s afraid to go to Walmart. Or maybe he just hasn’t come back to Earth because spaceship tickets are more expensive these days.

MY SON: When will spaceship tickets not be more expensive these days?

ME: Not for a long time. But even if spaceship tickets weren’t so expensive, maybe E.T. doesn’t want to come here again.
Maybe he wants to go somewhere else. When we go on vacation, we don’t always go to the same place.

MY SON: We always go to the same Disneyland.

ME: OK, but we’ve only been to New York once. That’s because it’s far away, and it costs a lot of money to go far away. So if we’re going to spend a lot of money to go somewhere far away, we usually like to go to different places. So when E.T. goes to spend a lot of money to go somewhere far away, maybe he also likes to go to different places.

MY SON: So we’re never going to New York again?

ME: No, we may go to New York again.

MY SON: So then E.T. may come here again? Do you think we’ll get to see him when he comes here again?

ME: I think we’ll be asleep if he comes here again. He likes to visit in the middle of the night when everyone’s asleep -- like in the movie. Remember?

MY SON: The guys with the keys weren’t asleep.

ME: That’s because they were looking for E.T. Remember?

MY SON: Then why can’t we go looking for E.T., too?

ME: Well, E.T. is really sneaky. Those guys with the keys couldn’t even catch him?

MY SON: Yeah, I remember. But Elliot caught him because he had Reece’s Pieces candies. So can we go to the store and get Reece’s Pieces candies?

ME: They don’t make those candies anymore.

MY SON: But we saw them at the store last week. Remember?

ME: Yeah, I guess I do remember . . . Look, in the sky.

MY SON: Where?

ME: There.

MY SON: There?

ME: That light shooting across the sky.

MY SON: Huh?

ME: It’s E.T.’s spaceship flying away.


ME: Yeah.

MY SON: We missed him?

ME: Yeah.

MY SON: Oh no.

ME: Oh well.

MY SON: Oh no.

ME: OK . . . Now let’s do something else.

-September 2009

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