Flexible working. Feminism. Fun.

My kid wants to be a robot and I’m okay with that

My kid wants to be a robot and I’m okay with that

When I was a little girl, my father told me I could do anything I wanted when I grew up.

“I want to fly,” I said.

“Sure, you can learn to fly an airplane,” he said.

“No, I want to fly without an airplane. Just with my arms,” I said.

I can’t remember his reply, but it’s clear I kind of missed the point. He was trying to share an important message about self-confidence and ambition, and I just wanted to be able to fly so I didn’t have to get my parents to drive me to the playground.

I had a similar experience with my daughter the other day. We were reading a book called “The Wonderful Things You Will Be,” one of those sentimental kid’s books that talks about all of the great things that your child will become as they grow up – kind, clever, bold, caring, etc. The end of the story has these lines:

Then you will discover all there is to see
And become anybody that you’d like to be

It then opens up to a double-page spread of vaguely creepy drawings of kids half-dressed in costumes – a boy with a crocodile head, a girl with a zebra head, a tree trunk with knee socks and Mary Janes, that kind of thing. I’m not sure what the author was thinking, to be honest. Anyway, when my daughter saw that page, she pointed to her favourite picture.

“Wanna be robot?” she said.

I could have explained that’s not really what the book is getting at, despite the strange pictures. The author means that you can choose what kind of person you become and what career you have when you grow up – doctor, professor, artist, Instagram lifestyle influencer (please God, no) or whatever.

I also could have told her that according to billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, there’s a good chance that we’ll all become robots eventually. He thinks that humans will need to merge with machines if we’re going to stay relevant in the age of AI. Computers can communicate at a trillion bits per second, but humans can only manage 10 bits per second. If we’re going to have any hope of keeping up, we’ll have to merge our biological intelligence with digital intelligence, turning us all into cyborgs.

Here’s what I actually said:

“Good choice.”

Because robots are cool. Of course she wants to be one. I’ll let her worry about all the practical career stuff and cyborg takeover when she’s older. Now is the time to dream big and weird, my robot child.

Lucy At Home
Bringing up Georgia

11 thoughts on “My kid wants to be a robot and I’m okay with that”

  • I’d love to know what my daughter will be when she grows up, but I also don’t eat it to happen too quickly! So for now, she can continue to be a Princess Doctor Builder #blogcrush

  • Aw the things they want to become are so cute! I don’t know if you’re near London but there’s actually an event on 29th July called the Mini Maker’s Faire. They have lots of activities for children and one of them is robotics. There’s a post on my blog about it if you’re interested. We’re running a giveaway for tickets. xx #blogcrush

  • Haha! I love the mindset of kids! Liked the robot pic = future career. Sorted! Maybe she knows more than us being a child of the digital age and all that?! My children are slowly becoming cyborgs, they constantly try to swipe non-touchscreen inanimate objects. Well, either that or I let them have the iPad too much! #BlogCrush

  • She’s embracing the (slightly scary, sci-fi) future! When my sister was little, she wanted to be a fairy when she grew up! Cute! I always saw myself as a realist and went for sensible career options like “teacher”, but I wish I had dreamed a little bigger – I have such a “can’t do it” attitude and I know it still holds me back today. I think we all need to dream and push ourselves! #blogcrush

  • Who knows, she might one day become a robot, or at least work with them. That’s not the point I know, but by allowing them to use imagination and not tell them ‘No you won’t’ or ‘No’ you can’t ‘ is the main thing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: