The other day in the car, Super Dog* was shooting at something through his window (with an entirely imaginary gun, of course).
N: You know, Jonah, I don't really like you shooting when you're in my car.
j: I'm not Jonah, I'm Super Dog!
N: Yes, right, Super Dog, please hold your fire until you're outside playing in the yard.
H: But we have to get the bad guys!
N: How can you even tell they're bad guys?
j: They just are.
H: They were born that way.
N: They were? How do you know? Were you born a good guy?
H: Of course!
N: But how do you know that?
H: Mo-om, I'm going to be a space veterinarian when I grow up and veterinarians are good.
j: Yeah, space veterinarians take care of animals in space. They are good guys.
*For the past, oh, year or so, both of the kids have been spending much of their time being superheroes of some kind or another. Jonah is usually Super Dog, a dog with super powers--my favorite being the power of bandaging--and a cape and who can fly (and who has an office under our diningroom table where he grades papers). He made this super-character up long before we learned of the existence of Krypto the comic book character and animated television series, but they've pretty much become one and the same. Hannah is all kinds of super, sometimes an animal, sometimes just Super Hannah, always with an inventive array of powers. Together, these superchildren of mine keep the world safe from bad guys.
Yesterday on the way home from school.
H: Hey! O [H's best friend] and I decided that we are going to be forest rangers instead of space veterinarian surfers when we grow up.
N: Oh, that's great.
H: Forest rangers take care of the forest and protect it.
N: What do they protect it from?
H: Fires. And...[pause]...lumberjacks. If lumberjacks cut down all the trees, the animals won't have a habitat any more. O and I can still help animals when we are forest rangers.