During his bath-time, The Boy and I talk. He makes a surprising remark about one of his class-mates, and this leads to me wondering about how developed these children's expectations of one another are, even by the age of nine (a serious interest, though not phrased in these exact terms at that moment).
Shane: Let's play a game where I ask you questions in three parts and you answer them - dead easy.
The Boy: (looks at me, chooses not to bob back under the water, though not yet committing to this nonsense)
Shane: Okay. Think of all the people in your class. I'm going to name three of them - not including you, and you've got to tell me what you think these three might end up doing when they're older - what you think they might end up working as.
The Boy: (wet-haired, possibly interested) Mm.
Shane: Let's start with... Imran.
The Boy: (reaching for shampoo, though interested - thinking hard) Mm. (still thinking - taking this very seriously) The thing is, I don't know Imran very well, so it's hard to say.
Shane: Okay, no problem. Let's try a girl. How about... Danielle.
The Boy: (shampooing) Mm. I don't know about Danielle, but I can find out tomorrow.
Shane: No no, let's not do that. That would sound weird - it might scare her if she thought that your step-dad was wondering what she might end up working as. No, let's think of someone who you do know - last try at this.
The Boy: (mildly amused) Yeah, that would have sounded weird.
The Boy: (back to being serious, reaching for the rinsing jug) I think I know what Ryan wants to be.
Shane: Alright, tell me what you think Ryan might end up being.
The Boy: (jug of water cascades noisily and splashingly over head) (louder, straight tone) He wants to be a wrestler.
Shane: A wrestler.
The Boy: (hair dripping, eyes still tightly shut) Mm.
I can't be sure that my original ponderance has been effectively handled.
I pass a towel.