The other day, Ethan's preschool teacher stopped me in the hallway after pick-up. Last year she *may* have stopped me a couple of times after school to let me know about some, erm, episodes of, shall we say "challenging" behavior on Ethan's part. There might have been a phase of blowing spitty raspberries in his friends' face, at point-blank range. And once or twice it's possible I had to cancel play dates later on in the day as a consequence for being a little pushy or shove-y during outside play time. So, you understand, I was a little nervous when she called me aside.
Turns out, this little impromptu progress report had nothing to do with spitty tongues or flailing hands in the sandbox. His teacher was chuckling; that was my first hint.
"I have to tell you about something Ethan said today," she told me, through a laugh.
Apparently, during circle time the class was talking about what they want to be when they grow up. Ethan declared that he was going to be a scientist. His teacher explained to him that there are lots of different types of scientist and asked what type he might like to be.
Thanks to the fabulous glowing box in our living room, Ethan's become quite a fan of the Nick, Jr. show, Dino Dan--a show about some Canandian kid who sees dinosaurs lurking around in his daily life and who fancies himself a pint-sized expert on all dinosaurs, great and small. Everyone around him seems to humor him, from his teachers and his mom to his classmates, but seriously, the kid is so into his pretend play with the dinos that if I were his mom I *might* be a little concerned that he was delusional and hallucinating prehistoric creatures every second of the day. But Ethan loves the show & has become quite the little expert himself on meat-eaters and leaf-eaters. So I wasn't at all surprised when his teacher said that given the choice of what type of scientist he wanted to be, Ethan told her that he wanted to study dinosaurs.
She informed him that a person who studies dinosaurs is called a paleontologist and apparently it was decided--Ethan wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up.
I couldn't quite figure out what was chuckle-worthy about that (except of course all the Ross Geller jokes), so I sort of nodded and smiled. And then the teacher continued...
At the end of circle time, she was writing down on the big board what everyone wanted to be as adults and when she got back to Ethan, she asked,
"What did you want to be again, Ethan?"
I guess based on their earlier conversation and the teacher's clarification that a "scientist" and a "paleontologist" were sort of the same thing, Ethan decided to combine the two words (how efficient of him), and he informed the class that when he grew up (and at this point, the teacher was almost crying she was laughing so hard) he was going to be....
Yup. A Scientologist. Super.