I had a talk on the phone with my 9-year-old son tonight. I asked the questions my parents used to ask me and had the same conversation we've all had with our kids at the end of the day:
Me: How was school?
Me: What was good about it?
Him: I don't remember
Me: Ok, then, how was the rest of your day?
Me: (pausing . . .) Why was it good?
Him: I don't remember. Can I have your football that's in the closet? (I have a fancy autographed football in there that I won at some thing I don't remember)
At this point I racked my brain trying to think like a 9-year-old - not that tough actually. You see, they think pretty big, and they think immediate. Planning is something you do when you're old. And what happened 10 minutes ago was forgotten 8 minutes ago. As a 9-year-old boy you just want to maximize the fun - now.
For instance during fourth grade a conspiring friend and I decided that during indoor recess it would be a marvelous idea to sneak away to the bathroom and throw handfuls of marbles at the wall as hard as we could. Made perfect sense at the time. We laughed heartily as we dodged the careening marbles (good name for a rock band) while avoiding, most of the time, putting a shoe in the urinals. We'd pick the marbles up off of the super-duper-clean floor and make more throws. This was way better than Connect-Four! To our dismay a teacher walked in - catching me mid-throw. Somehow her spidey-senses had picked us up, since I'm sure we weren't making any audible noise, what with the ricocheting spheres and our prepubescent cackles . . .
So I guess my point is that I won't be frustrated with Ethan's not wanting to talk about the day. But you can bet that if he (who happens to go the same elementary school I went to) had happened to discover the power of high-velocity marbles and cinder-block restroom walls, we would've had a great talk about that.
And if you're wondering if I washed my hands after emerging from the scene of the crime all those years ago - I don't remember!