What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

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When I was a kid I wanted to be Bob. Two Bobs actually. I wanted to be Bob Newhart. I wanted to be a psychologist in Chicago and an author/innkeeper in Vermont. There was a little confusion on my part between “The Bob Newhart Show” & “Newhart.” I also loved the characters around him and how he interacted with them. Who didn’t love Carol Kester and Larry, Darryl “and my other brother Darryl.”

The other Bob I wanted and still want to be is Bob Barker. My first phrase as a baby was “Come on Down!” from “The Price is Right.” Barker was the biggest star in our house growing up. Don Johnson, Ernest Borgnine & Mr. T were close behind. The other guys were tougher but no one made people as happy day in and day out as Bob Barker.

My oldest son Tyler turns 5 this summer. Over the last year or so there’s been a lot more interest from him about what mommy and daddy do and what he wants to be when he grows up. We’ve gotten the typical responses: police officer, fireman, NASCAR driver and TV guy (my job). Then Tyler and I had this conversation two or three weeks ago in the car.

Tyler: “Daddy, I changed my mind.”?
Me: “Oh yeah, about what?”?
Tyler: “I’m not going to be a police officer anymore.”?
Me: “Really?”?
Tyler: “Yeah, I’m going to be a circus actor.”
?Me: “A circus actor?”?
Tyler: “Yeah, a circus actor is a clown. They make kids happy by giving ’em things and they feed elephants stuff like coconuts.”

Then this conversation with our nanny Kim a week later.

Tyler: “When I grow up I’m gonna be a Bobcat!”
?Kim: “You mean like a basketball player Bobcat?”
?Tyler: “Yeah!”?
Kim: “Well don’t you want to be on a better team that doesn’t lose so much?” (Kim has a great sense of humor).
?Tyler: “No, I’ll just try my best.”

When a friend of mine asked his young son what he wanted to be when he grew up he replied, “I want to be a cat.” (feline variety)

What did you want to be as kid? Is you current career close? What funny occupations have your kids aspired to be?

WCCB News Rising Host Derek James balances a full-time job in the glamorous world of television news (including a 2:30am wake up and stale coffee) along with managing chaos every afternoon for 4 year-old Tyler and 2 year-old Chase.

See more from Derek: @DerekJamesTV on Facebook and Twitter.