What do you want to be when you grow up? A classic question adults ask children to make conversation. Someone asked Noah this question recently. I awaited his answer with interest. He doesn’t really have a proper concept of what a job is. He knows his dad goes to work; he knows I don’t. He knows that pilots drive planes and that astronauts drive space ships and that teachers look after you at school. If you’re a builder then you’re Bob the Builder and if you’re a fireman you’re obviously Fireman Sam. Anyway, according to Noah, he wants to be a dinosaur when he grows up.
In this day and age, it’s never too early to decide what you want to be when you grow up. There are roads into lots of careers nowadays that weren’t available to my generation. There are qualifications in a vast array of subjects which weren’t available when I was at school. Want to be a famous writer? Do a Creative Writing A Level, a Creative Writing degree, a Creative Writing Masters and even a Creative Writing PHD. Want to be a popstar? Go and audition for the X-Factor.
I was raised with the secure belief that when I grew up, I could be whatever I wanted to be. The world was my oyster. I was given every opportunity a child could possibly be given, but most importantly, I had two parents with an unshakable belief in me and everything I did. If I had said I wanted to be a ballet dancer, they wouldn’t have said “yes, of course you do, darling”, whilst sceptically looking down at my ever-so-slightly chunky legs. They’d have arranged lessons, rigged me out in the best sparkly tutu that money can buy, ferried me there and back and sat through every performance, full of pride. And that’s what I want for my Noah. Although, I’m not sure what I can actually do to help him fulfil his ambition to become a dinosaur…
Taking into account his personality and his interests, here are 10 possible careers that might be suitable for Noah in the future:
1. A baker. The boy loves cake. We make a cake every week. I have to limit them to one a week because of my ever expanding waist-line, but Noah would happily make a cake every day. He has even started telling me what kind of cake he’d like to make. Today we made a strawberry cake. We like to be ambitious.
2. A rugby player. He likes jumping on people, climbing over them and tackling them. My husband (the expert) claims Noah has natural skill in rugby. I must admit, I have concerns about this possible career choice already: my Noah has the most beautiful, delicate, perfect shell-like little ears. The thought of them turning into cauliflower ears hurts my heart.
3. An actor. Before the boy could speak, he could act. He is theatrical. He loves dressing up. He does different voices for different toys. He is also a bit of a straight-faced fabricator.
Me: Why were you calling me in the night? You know it’s naughty.
Noah: I was scared. (Does shivery, scared action. Speaks in small, scared voice.)
Me: What of?
Noah: Darth Vader was in my bed.
4. A librarian. Noah likes playing libraries. He likes the order of stacking books. He also likes reading, which helps. Mind you, libraries might be obsolete by the time Noah grows up. I hope not.
5. A pilot. Noah is a well-travelled three year old. He’s very used to flying back and forth between Vienna and England. He takes flying in his stride. He’s also been to Spain, Florence, Brussels, Helsinki and California. One of his first words was “plane” (although he pronounced it “ham”, I knew what he was saying). One of his first ever sentences (repeated multiple times) was “draw plane” meaning he wanted the nearest available person to draw him a page full of planes. He loves the Disney Planes films. Look Inside an Airport is also one of his favourite books.
6. Technology/media genius. I can’t really tell what specific jobs technology/media geniuses will do by the time Noah has grown up, but he has a definite interest (obsession) with mobile phones, ipads and television. Maybe, instead of it frying his brain and making him a couch potato like some might suggest, it will make him his millions in the future.
7. A naturist. By this I mean a nudist rather than a lover of nature. He strips off as soon as he gets through the front door, even when it’s freezing and I’m in thick socks and two jumpers. I don’t suppose a naturist is actually a career though, is it? But still.
8. A dancer. Noah never can resist getting up and boogying to the hot dog dance on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He likes performing to his piano too.
9. A dinosaur hunter. He has a mild obsession with dinosaurs. At church this week the vicar was talking about favourites and how we shouldn’t be prejudiced against people who don’t fit with our ideas about what is best. The vicar (bravely) put the microphone under Noah’s nose and asked what he thought of when he said the word “favourite”. Noah said dinosaur. When we were at Centre Parcs recently, we went to an activity where the children were shown a few different animals. At the start of the session, the woman leading it, asked the children to put their hands up if they had a pet at home. I almost fell off my chair when I realised Noah’s hand was up because I’m pretty sure we don’t have any pets. It seems like I was forgetting about the pet dinosaur we keep at home.
10. A politician. He switches his ears on and off depending on what he wants to hear. He is asked not to do something but does it anyway. He has an answer for everything. Just please don’t be a Michael Gove, my Noah.