If you have a kid who’s really into dinosaurs, you know that just saying they “like” them is not merely enough. My son, for example, was completely and totally obsessed with dinosaurs for at least three years of his life. I think it started the very moment he laid his tiny toddler eyes on his very first T-Rex. It must have been love at first sight. And from then on, it was all he would ever talk about and think about. We had all the books, toys, stuffed animals, movies, TV shows, clothes, EVERYTHING. It was just dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs for his entire toddlerhood and beyond.
Now that he’s a big boy of six whole years, he’s moved on quite a bit. Video game characters seem to be all the rage these days, but I know his prehistoric pals will always have a special place in his heart. And I can’t even believe what I’m about to say, but I actually kind of miss those dinosaur days. He drove me a little insane sometimes, but looking back it was pretty adorable.
If your little T-Rex head is, or was, anything like mine used to be, then you’ll relate to most (if not all) of these things:
- You’ve learned that there is no such thing as a brontosaurus, and apparently there never was. Yup, your science teacher was dead wrong. Nowadays it’s all about the brachiosaurus.
- You notice that Dino Dan is clearly on some very powerful hallucinogens, but we’re supposed to just accept it and watch the show anyway, no questions asked.
- Your visit to the Museum of Natural History starts on the fourth floor, where all the cool dinosaur bones are. Don’t kid yourselves into thinking you came to see anything else (except maybe the giant blue whale- he’s pretty cool).
- You are way better at correctly pronouncing loooooong dinosaur names than you ever thought, thanks to the little lesson in phonetics under each name. At this point, there is nothing you can’t properly sound out. Micropachycephalosaurus? Epidexipteryx? Xinjiangovenator? Bring it on.
- You can never have too many dinosaur encyclopedias. And no, there is no limit to how many pages you’ll be asked to read every night.
- Shopping for kids clothes in a store with not even a single dinosaur tee shirt in sight is a complete waste of time.
- You will happily pay an inexcusable amount of money for any article of clothing with a really cool-looking T-Rex on it.
- Three years old is not at all too young to watch Jurassic Park for the first time.
- Barney does NOT count as a dinosaur. Never has, never will.
- There is no storage bin spacious enough for your child’s vast toy dinosaur collection. And every time you attempt to close the lid, there’s at least one tail sticking out somewhere preventing you from doing so. Better luck next time.
- People like to say it’s just a “childhood phase”, which you find hilarious. What kind of “phase” lasts at least THREE YEARS?? We prefer the term “healthy obsession”.
- Your child learned the difference between a carnivore and an herbivore before he knew his ABC’s.
- You saved money on Halloween costumes, because he (or she!) just wants to be T-Rex every year.
- Playing “pretend” has taken on a whole new meaning in your house; there are days that your child won’t answer to anything but “T-Rex”, and you occasionally have to explain to random strangers why your child is roaring very loudly at them for no reason.
- You wonder if the dinosaur obsession might continue beyond childhood, and your little one will might even someday choose a career in paleontology. And then you can’t help but think of Ross from Friends.
By Jeannine Cintron, a Staten Island mom of two. Read her blog at www.highchairsandheadaches.com.