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The Saintly, Sadistic Dentist

November 8, 2010

It’s been established that my seven-year-old son loves money (or rather, loves the idea of having a butler). Unfortunately for him and his aspirations of immense wealth, his career preferences to date aren’t likely to bring in the big bucks.

When he was four, my son wanted desperately to be a dentist. He’d watched Finding Nemo and any scenes with fish terrified him, so we were left with the bits in the dentist’s office. It was cute at first and would’ve been very lucrative (not to mention a great excuse to get him brushing his teeth) had he stuck with it. Truth be told, I’m glad he ditched this one, because he soon set up a dentist office in our kitchen and I was his lucky patient (Every. Single. Day.).

Wearing rubber gloves and a mask, he would brush my teeth and have me spit in a bucket. I made the dentist retire after he made  “tools” – various hooked-shaped instruments made out of tin foil – and started poking my old school (circa 1985) fillings. He became the sadistic dentist from Little Shop of Horrors and I was Sylvester the cat gripping the ceiling by my fingernails.

Next up was the knight phase. Very commonplace goal for kids his age, except that he didn’t want to be a knight of old – he enquired how he might get a job with Queen Elizabeth guarding her crowns. I informed him that we were lacking the necessary connections that I suspected one needs to become a proper knight and also that the job he was describing was more in line with a security guard.

The knight thing segued nicely into his saint phase. That’s right, my son (whose mother – when asked her religious affiliation – identifies herself as Wiccan and whose father was raised a Commie) aspired to be a Catholic saint, which he was studying at the Hippy School. He carried around a cross and pretended to rescue stuffed animals from…I’m not sure what…religious peril? He’s likely the only boy in the history of boys who begged his mom for a monk costume in the middle of Wal-mart’s Halloween clearance aisle.

He also likes to play S.W.A.T. and is already scuba diving with his dad, so we’re counting on these interests to hold his attention in the coming years. They may not make him rich, but they appear slightly more attainable than, say, a chimney sweep (guess who saw Mary Poppins recently?).

And then there are occasions like last week, when we took him to a very fancy (i.e. the hostess gives out horrified looks to children rather than crayons) restaurant. The chefs cooked within view of diners and my son was transfixed throughout the meal.

Driving home he said, in a voice filled with wonder, “Guess what I want to be when I grow up?”

“What?” I asked, as my husband and I smiled at each other, bemused by our little famous-chef-in-the-making.

A waiter,” he replied with reverence.

Rather than getting a butler, he’s now one step closer to being one.

Is this the lesser of five evils?

Or this?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2010 9:26 am

    Brilliant. He clearly is ambitious. My husband still recalls the time a few years ago when my son said he wanted to be a dancer or a juggler. I said, “With thighs like ours, he be better off as a juggler.”

    Now we’re up to astronaut and rock n’ roll guitar player. Sometimes I miss my circus performer.

    • November 9, 2010 6:30 am

      My daughter just told me she wants to be a dog or a ghost when she grows up. Not sure how to even answer that one.

  2. November 8, 2010 9:36 am

    I love hearing stories of what kids want to be. I wanted to be a librarian or a babysitter for a long time. I remember my cousin wanting to be a “bottle man” (the guy who delivers the 5 gallon water jugs). Right now my 5 year old nephew wants to be a “movie maker.”

    For your sake I’m glad he got out of the dentist phase. That game wouldn’t have lasted in my house.

    • November 9, 2010 6:29 am

      From what my babysitter charges, you can make a great living as a babysitter…

  3. November 8, 2010 11:42 am

    So cute! My son vacilates between a shark diver (thanks to my husband for letting him watch shark week) and law enforcement. We are trying to dissuade the law enforcement because we fear he would be brought up on charges of police brutality based on how he treats his stuffed animals and sister when taking them into custody!

    • November 9, 2010 6:28 am

      Imagine telling that story when he becomes chief of police…

  4. November 8, 2010 11:53 am

    I have no kids, but I fondly remember aspiring to be a pet shop owner. It was those damn beanie babies everyone was obsessed with.

    • November 9, 2010 6:27 am

      Pet shop owner is a very viable profession (my daughter wants to be a dog).

  5. November 8, 2010 12:05 pm

    At least he wants a job! My youngest said she’s not going to college – instead she’s going to “drive around in her hot convertable and laugh at all those people working so hard”. She makes her mama proud.

  6. November 8, 2010 3:11 pm

    This was awesome. Your son is a riot. Though I would have discouraged the whole be a dentist thing. Imagine visting his there. The smell in those offices makes you wanna puke!

  7. November 10, 2010 12:49 am

    Oh man, this brings back the memories of my little brother, who was big into the service industry. First, there was the garbage man phase. Then THE HOUSEBOY PHASE (we grew up overseas and is this PC, or what??). And then the teenage mutant ninja turtle phase. But waiters? That’s a special one. Start training him to bring you stuff now. And to stand quietly in a corner. And to interrupt conversation while filling water glasses. But tips can add up to keep it to hugs and kisses.

    • November 11, 2010 6:41 am

      Ha – that is awesome! I think it’s us leaving money on the table in restaurants that initially piqued his interest – we obviously need to hone his math skills – he also asked if we could buy him a real horse farm for $100.00.

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