Six-year-old Collett wants to grow up to be a rhino trainer as expressed in this self portrait.

Six-year-old Collett wants to grow up to be a rhino trainer as expressed in this self portrait.

Dreaming about what they’ll become | Kid Wisdom

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist and a writer. I’m still working on some of those goals. I also remember wanting to be a princess in a castle, a cowboy or for a brief time, the wife of country music singer, Garth Brooks. That last one is a bit embarrassing but true. My best friend, Bridget, shared that aspiration with me. So at least I wasn’t alone in that.

When it comes to the things kids say they want to be when they grow up, the sky’s the limit. Their imaginations, unhindered by societal expectations, along with their innocence, combine to produce giggle worthy answers.

When my son, Dawson, was 5, he told me the top three things he wants to be when he grows up:

A marine biologist

The president

A person who teaches people to ride unicorns

Now, at 9, Dawson wants to be a comedian, have a job that has to do with animals or be a professor with crazy hair.

For the last couple of years, my daughter, Violet, 5, has wanted to be a doctor. We took my youngest, Eleanor, 3, to the doctor’s office because she was not feeling well. Violet was curious and quite interested in everything our pediatrician Dr. Emily Macdonald did during the checkup.

Violet was in Emily’s lap crawling on her and climbed up on the exam table to be right where the action was. Emily graciously gave Violet a notebook and pen to take “notes.” She even let Violet use the stethoscope to listen to Eleanor’s heart. She answered Violet’s questions and explained things without talking down to her.

Violet still has an interest in medicine, but now she mostly wants to be an artist.

Eleanor wants to be an artist and an “astrodonot” (astronaut) and go to “outer paaace (space).”

At school Collett, 6, made a self-portrait of what he wants to be when he grows up. The other students in his kindergarten class wanted to be things like teacher, police officer, etc. His mother, Kortny Shawver, of Poulsbo, was surprised to see that Collett’s self-portrait said Rhino Trainer.

Stacey Clementz is an education program specialist at the Champaign County Forest Preserve District in central Illinois. A youth counselor at the forest preserve’s summer camp told Stacey that she wanted to be a cloud sweeper when she was little. She said a cloud sweeper is a person who goes out at night and sweeps the clouds away.

When Janet Thomas, of Sequim, was growing up, her sister, who is almost four years younger, wanted to be Dr. Pepper.

“We lived in the south at the time, where the beverage was popular,” Thomas said. “She thought he was real.”

Karen Brown, of Springfield, Illinois, wrote that a friend’s daughter told her, “I want to be a night worker when I grow up.”

“What she meant was that she wanted to be a night road construction worker like the ones she saw as they drove down the road one evening,” Brown said.

Anytime someone asks Megan, 4, what she will be when she grows up Megan answers, “probably a mermaid,” her mother Jennifer Rogers, of Poulsbo, said.

Teagan, 6, said she wants to be a fashioneaster (fashionista) when she grows up. “You know, ‘cause it’s fashion and Easter,” her mother Roganne Murray, of Fisher, Illinois, said.

Levi, 4, told his mom, Erin Raatz of Fort Wayne, Indiana, that he wants to be a front end loader man.

I would love to hear your funny kid stories, so please send them and cute kid photos to

Quinn Ward is a former journalist living in Poulsbo. She has been recording the amazing and outrageous things her kids say since they have been able to talk.

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