Yesterday was my daughter Ruthie’s fourth birthday. Based on her interests, passions, and talents, here are a few career paths I suspect she might be interested in:

4th bday.2

“Painter, Draw-er, and Color-er.” That’s her current answer if you ask her want she wants to be. Sometimes “dancer” is thrown in there, too. I would love to see her follow her dreams and become a painter/draw-er/color-er.


A Literary Scholar. I’ve never been particularly skilled at literary criticism–please, never ask me to come up with something new to say about an Ibsen play–but I’ve spent pretty much my entire adult life in various university English departments. I’m pretty familiar with the way literary scholars interact with the world, and Ruthie seems to be fitting the mold. She loves stories that are far more complex than her education level. One of her favorite words is “fatuous.” Now that we’ve read Fellowship of the Ring and watched the Lord of the Rings movies together, she comes up with pretty smart analysis of the dangers of seeking power. “Power makes people bad,” she says. “People want power and then they hurt other people. That’s why Smeagol turned into Gollum.” Yesterday she asked me why there is only one girl on RescueBots and told me that she really thinks there should be more. When she was listening to “Changes” by David Bowie in the car the other day, she asked me what it means that children can change the world. Fortunately, it looks like she’s going to the Marxist/Feminist/Socialist route with her literary theories!

Some Sort of Giraffe Expert. I mean. Look at this photo, which doesn’t even include the 4.5-tall giraffe she got for her birthday and promptly named David Bowie. Girl’s got a vested interest in giraffes.


A Really Angry Food Critic. The kid loves watching cooking shows with her dad but refuses to eat a lot of staples. So she’d be really excited if she got to be a Kitchen Stadium judge and the secret ingredient was asparagus or mushrooms or chicken tenders, but pretty pissed off if any of the chefs used potatoes, butter, or eggs in their food.

A Burlesque Dancer. One of my friends who actually is a burlesque dancer spotted the signs: she prefers to be naked. She dances naked a lot. We have a deal in the summertime that she can hang out mostly naked if she’s good–but she has to wear underpants. She is obsessed with boobs (especially mine and her own). Last month, she wrote a song (with an accompanying dance) called, “I keep my nipples out,” and the lyrics are as follows:

I! Keep my nipples out!
I keep my nipples out EVERY DAY!
I keep my nipples out EVERY DAY!

A Kitten or a Baby. I suspect this because she spends about 20% of every day pretending to be one of these things.

A Crime Fighter. Probably with Superpowers. While helping me clean the bathroom: “I’m just gonna put this package of pads over here by the door so no bad guys come in here and kill us.”

Awesome. No matter what she ends up being, this kid is going to always be awesome. Happy Fourth Birthday, little one!