Desi, five years old, Brooklyn

What do you want to do for work when you grow up?

Desi, a five-year-old boy in Brooklyn, doesn’t ever want to work. “I don’t want to leave Brooklyn or go to Manhattan or go on trains,” he explains. “I just want to stay home.”

Lucky for Desi, he doesn’t ever have to leave his apartment for his first choice of career, if he must have one.

“I’m going to invent a ‘Bloodinator,’” says Desi. “A Bloodinator makes people’s mouth smell like blood, so the tooth fairy gets tricked into giving people money.”

If messing with the tooth fairy isn’t your thing, Desi has other ideas. “I want to invent a machine that will let me relax and make a Piña Colada, and will take me to school with a nephew.” If Desi’s older sister has a son someday, this dream could come true!

Desi will also invent a tool to find lost items. “I would put solar panels on it so it could help you find things with a flashlight,” he says.

If he leaves his apartment, Desi could also work in a science museum, studying Earth and Venus, his two favorite planets. He says, “I like Venus because it traps the sun’s heating, which makes it the hottest planet.”

Insights from the Urban Playground

Desi is right: Taking the train, subway, or bus can be a bummer for people who live in cities. For one thing, public transportation can get crowded. Piling into a subway car with a bunch of strangers is a hassle sometimes, with people banging their bags and elbows into each other.

But not everyone feels that way. Some find it thrilling to step out of their apartments, walk to any number of coffee shops between home and the train station, subway station, or bus stop, and pick up coffee, tea, or hot chocolate to drink on the way to work.


1. What does your parent do for work? If you have more than one parent, answer for each parent.

2. Are you excited to work when you grow up?

3. What do you want to do for work when you grow up?

4. What do you think someone who has that job does all day?

5. What would be hard about having a job?

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