"By calling a dinosaur an herbivore, you're calling it a plant eater. They both say the same thing."
He didn't like my explanation. "Then why don't scientists just call them plant eaters?"
I ran through a mental list of possible reasons. Because it's one word instead of two... It's easier to say... Neither option sounded adequate. "Because saying 'herbivores' makes them sound smarter." That was my final answer.
"Oh." Christian mulled my words for a few brief second. "Then I must sound really smart. Do you know what this dinosaur is called?"
I turned my head to look back to where Christian is strapped into his car seat. He's holding up papers that have been colored, cut up, and taped together into a vaguely dinosaurish shape that resembles a genetic crossbreed of an armadillo, a turtle, a porcupine, and a chicken with an absurdly neck.
"No, I don't."
"It's a attackasaurus." Christian voice boasted with self prescribed sense of genius.
"Uh-huh," he said, "and it's gotta beak. They call it attackasaurus because it can attack anything."
"The attackasaurus is pretty cool, huh?"
"Yes, it is."
Christian continued describing the attributes of attackasaurus: armored scales, feathers, weaponized tail. It a rambling bit that blended in with the Christmas music playing on the stereo. Christian doesn't always speak to be heard. Mostly he talks because it's physically impossible to stop unless he is eating or sleeping (which he sometimes talks during both of those activities). He'll even talk when no one is there to listen. With this knowledge of the way my son functions, I knew that he had imparted his most important information. With the quickening pace of his speech and shrinking effort to enunciate, I also knew that the rest of the babbling was talk for the sake of noise.
Until he had another question. "Do you know why they call it a attackasaurus?"
"Because it will attack anything?"
"Oh." Pause. "Why?"
"Because it has has spikes on it's back. And it can curl up into a ball and roll around. And it runs super fast. And it has sharp claws. And big teeth. It can swim, and fly."
In case my sons creativity has left you scratching your head, picture the this: take the most wicked awesome features of all of your favorite dinosaurs (plus some you've never heard of), stick them in a blender (perhaps splice some DNA), and dump it onto a sheet of paper with the whims of an imaginative six year old armed with crayons, markers, scissors, and scotch tape.... The finished product is the attackasaurus.