Annie loves herself some princesses, but she’s also still very interested in dinosaurs. I find her interest in dinosaurs pretty cool because I also loved dinosaurs when I was her age. My love for dinosaurs wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as Annie’s, though. Whereas I was mostly impressed by their size and how scary the T-Rex was, Annie actually wants to learn about them.
Last week Annie asked me to put a “dinosaur video” on the iPad, but when I played her a cartoon she shook her head and told me she wanted a “real dinosaur video.” The next thing I knew she was watching a video on YouTube that had a professorial narrator discussing the dinosaurs. I figured she was just watching the video and not listening, but then later that night she said, “Dad, did you know T-Rex’s were carnivores?” I told her I did, then asked her if she knew what it meant to be a carnivore. Without missing a beat she said it meant to eat meat! I have to say, I was pretty impressed.
Before you think she’s a little dinosaur genius, however, I should mention that Annie definitely understands all of this from a three-year-old’s vantage point. Last weekend, for example, Annie said, “Dad, what do they mean when they say dinosaurs are extinct?”
“Where did you hear that?” I asked.
“On the iPad. It said the dinosaurs are ex-stink. What does it mean?”
I could’ve lied and told her it meant dinosaurs used to be smelly (or something similarly easy to understand), but that didn’t seem like the right thing to do considering how inquisitive she is about dinosaurs. So, I did my best to explain in simple language that the dinosaurs became extinct because a meteor hit earth and triggered the Ice Age. Annie nodded when I finished and said she understood.
At dinner that night I told Heather that Annie was a smarty pants who understood why the dinosaurs were extinct. Heather looked to Annie, impressed, and said, “You know why dinosaurs are extinct?”
Annie nodded and said, “Yeah. A rock fell on them and they all got squished.”
She doesn’t have it quite right, but for now it’s pretty good, if you ask me.