I downloaded some episodes of "Walking with Dinosaurs" off iTunes a few weeks ago, thinking nothing much in particular except that if my kids were going to be watching TV, at least the TV would be somewhat educational. I did not know what I was getting into, because Cal and Mack are completely and wholly obsessed with dinosaurs now. Cal is mostly interested in the wonkish way, reading and studying, memorizing names and characteristics and diets and eras. He's not as into the pretending aspect--I got the kids a tube full of these little plastic dinosaurs to play with, and after naming them all, Cal just looked at me and said, "Now what am I supposed to do with them?" He wants to learn about the dinosaurs. He doesn't want to be a dinosaur.
Mack, on the other hand...
I'm not quite sure what it is about the dinosaurs, but definitely there's something about their sheer enormity that appeals to kids. Even Cal, who takes something more of a scholar's delight in his paleontologic fervor, continually asks if X is bigger than Y or if Y could beat Z in a fight. That's much of the fun of it, I think. Being so small and the thrill of imagining something so big. I, on the other hand, look at my kids, imagine them being big, and relish that--for now at least--they're still so small.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.