“What’s this button do?”
I looked at the shifter my son was pointing at. We were in our minivan, getting ready to go shopping. “It lets me shift into drive,” I said, demonstrating. “It prevents the shifter from getting bumped accidentally.”
“Oh,” he said. “That explains it!”
“Explains what?” I asked.
“Never mind,” he said. “I just tried to shift it once, and it didn’t move. I didn’t know why.”
“You tried to shift the minivan into drive?”
“It wasn’t this car!” he said quickly. “It was our old minivan. Before we got this one.”
I looked at him without saying anything.
“No, no, no!” he said. “I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”
I continued watching him.
“Okay,” he said, gesturing with his hands. “It was with Mom. She had just gotten out of the car. . .” His voice trailed off.
“Are you done getting yourself in trouble?” I asked.
He nodded. “This is why I hate small talk.”