Monday, April 07, 2008


The Alien and the Missing Dot

All parents of young kids know that they go through little phases, periods of obsession with one thing or another. Georgia's a particularly fickle kid. She'll want to read one book every night for two weeks running, and then never want to hear it again, or will watch the same cartoon over and over and over again for days, and then refuse ever to watch it again.

She does much the same thing in her drawing. At home and at preschool, she'll go through little phases, where she'll draw the same elements every time she's got a crayon, paint brush, or marker in hand, for weeks on end, and then suddenly start up with a new subject. It'll be cats for a long time, or dogs, or what-have-you (granted, this is a four year old, so the difference between "cat" and "dog" in her drawing often requires a bit of explication on her part).

Lately, though, it's all aliens. Usually standing beside Georgia, sometimes with a cat to keep them company.

I'm not sure where this came from. Probably one of the cartoon shows we watch together. (Her favorites of the moment are WordGirl and Krypto the Superdog, naturally, both of which have some alien action to them, in one way or another.)

Yesterday, while Allison and I did a bit of yard work (to be fair, Allison had done most of it, I just came along and did a bit of raking at the end), Georgia drew with chalk on the driveway. I suggested she draw one of her aliens, which she did. When Allison came back around, I told Georgia to tell us about her drawing, and she proceeded to explain.

"It's an alien from ten thousand years ago," she said, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world, "and he's looking for the missing dot."

Well, certainly, I thought, why wouldn't he be?

Earlier that day, she'd done some drawing on the backs of old letterhead in the backseat of the car, using a pencil and a lapdesk, and it was only this morning as I belted her in for the ride to preschool that I saw what she'd drawn. I had her identify each of the elements, and I've added text labels, in case it isn't obvious.

This particular visual shorthand for "person" is one that Georgia's been working out for the last few years, btw.

Anyway, my first question was, "Where's the missing dot?" I haven't had a chance to ask her yet, but I'm guessing I know the answer. It's not there, obviously, because it's missing...

Strong work by Georgia. Her portrait of the sun is the master stroke in this ensemble.
Is it just me or does the "alien" in the drawing look like an Elder Thing from "At the Mountains of Madness? Anecdotes like these really make me impressed with kids.
Heh. Thanks, John, I'll be sure to pass that along to the artist!
Georgia did another alien drawing yesterday, Greg, that was even more Lovecraftian. This one had, as she explained, five legs, four arms on one side, and five on the other, and was yellow with brown ears. He was standing quite happily beside a portrait of our little nuclear family, though, so at least in the eyes of a four year old he wasn't threatening in the slightest. Who know, perhaps preschoolers have a bigger capacity for unspeakable horror than adults imagine!
Maybe we've now found the way to defeat the Mythos, preschoolers armed with paper, crayons and elder signs. Somehow this comes out as a sort of toddler version of the Monster Squad when I play it out in my head. 'Course when I read At the Mountains of Madness it never seems to me that the Elder Things are evil, or even necessarily ill-intentioned, so maybe she knows something we don't. Besides kids are tough, I'd kind of feel sorry for Cthulhu....
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by 

Blogger. Isn't yours?