Slashies are so hot right now

Allison Tait blog
Posted on November 10, 2010

My boys have aspirations to be Slashies. Not in the Zoolander model-slash-actor-slash-DJ sense. More in the ‘I want to be everything when I grow up’ sense.

Mr6 wants to be a “police guy and a scientist and a writer”. I’m thinking Patricia Cornwall, you?

Mr3 wants to be a police guy and a fire guy and an SES guy.” A hero in other words.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be an actress. (They weren’t cool ‘actors’ in those days, they still had that pesky ‘tress’ ending.)

I had it all planned. I would be rich (naturally), famous (naturally) and beautiful (probably unnaturally given what I’m working with here).

I wrote a memorable year 7 project that was all about a famous child actress who was accused in the tabloids of, gasp, forgetting her friends when her name went up in lights. I worked hard on that project. There was a message in a bottle in it, for God’s sake.

The dream ended somewhere around about the end of high school, when I realised that actors spent a lot of time waiting tables. And that Nicole Kidman had kind of sewn up the ‘redhead Australian superstar’ market.

It never occurred to me that I might be a writer. Apart from that one brush with journalism work experience that saw me fleeing the industry, I never imagined myself making a living from words. I don’t think that even my Dad’s magical shed will ever unearth the full-length novel I wrote when I was eight. Probably because there isn’t one.

I was listening to my boys discussing their career plans in the car this afternoon. They will work their police shifts together, in a car with a siren. Mr6 will drive, because he’s the oldest. There was some consternation as to how Mr3 would fit in his fire guy duties, but Mr6 was confident that the writing/science aspect of his life would be easily accommodated at night.

“You write at night, don’t you Mum? So I can too.”

I looked at them in the backseat, skinny little arms and legs, eager expressions, big, hopeful eyes. “You can do anything you want,” I replied.

Standard Mum answer, but the best answer, don’t you think? It’s what my Mum always told me.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing it?

A L Tait The Fire StarAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher, and a new ‘almost history’ detective series called the Maven & Reeve Mysteries (you’ll find book #1 THE FIRE STAR here).

 You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.


  1. Aussie-waffler

    Hee hee, I love it. Le Artiste is going to be a pro golfer, artistic archeologist and Petal wants to be a singing, dancing dentist. All sounds pretty good to me, I’m still trying to work out what I want to be when grow up..oh, hang on a minute…I’ve already grown up…bugger.

  2. NappyDaze

    I was only musing over this conundrum the other day – sadly as a child I awlays knew what I wanted to do (write), but with some poor choices on my part and not an overwhelming amount of support to delve into this unstable field, I let the dream slip by. SO unless my blog hobby counts, sadly no, I am another who is not doing as they dreamed (and getting paid for it!) but there is still time to do something about it I guess!

  3. Cath

    Funny you should write this as I just wrote a blog post about it – I wanted to be a singer (http://leafjournals.com/topic/blog/almost-a-singer).

    The munchkin, on the other hand wants to be a vague definition of “something”! It involves a HUGE workshop and working for everyone and everything industrial. Mention a new company and he says, “I work for them”. If it actually had a job description, it would definitely be a “slashy”. Engineer, mechanic, builder, miner – my guess is “engineering consultant”. At least he says he wants to help people.

    Great term by the way!

  4. River

    I always wanted to build houses with a room for everyone, no sharing, I was always using all our building blocks, (we had hundreds), and the biggest long and wide books, to build walls and roofs. Even now, I still look at houseplan designs in the magazines and redesign them to suit myself.

  5. Tricia Rose

    I wanted to be a saint, and it made my mother FURIOUS. Somehow I couldn’t focus on anything else after that.

  6. MultipleMum

    Nugget wants to be a teacher/shop owner (I wonder where the inspiration came from). Doo Dah wants to be a pirate. The other two haven’t expressed their wishes yet 🙂

    I have decided that I will probably never be a grown up so I don’t need to worry about what I will be doing then!

  7. Jacki

    Isn’t it great when kids feel that the whole world is open to them and life is theirs for the taking? I wish we could hold on to that sentiment through high school, when we’re often labelled and possibly discouraged from our dreams. Wait, do I sound like I have some high school issues?! I hope your boys make all their dreams come true!

  8. anjwritesabout.com

    I wanted to be Oprah, mostly. The fact that she already existed (and that I’m not African American) didn’t seem to deter me.

  9. Toni

    Apart from a brief flirtation with the idea of being a psychologist, all I ever really wanted to be was a wife and mum.
    I can remember getting around with a cushion up my T-shirt to see what being pregnant would feel like.
    YEAH the cushion TOTALLY prepared me.
    My Mr9 wants to be a spy/waiter/WestCoastEaglesfootballplayer. I think he just likes the whole idea of a tux.
    The Princess wants to be a fairy. Or a ballerina.

  10. alliecat

    Yep, that is the best answer for sure.

    Me? I wanted to save the dolphins. Needless to say, I am not doing that, unless you count my monthly World Wildlife Fund donations….

  11. Raine and Sage

    Oh this did make me smile. I’ve a 4yo slashie. Didn’t know it had a term, thanks for providing one. 🙂

  12. Maxabella

    PPPS – sorry about all the PSing.

  13. Maxabella

    PPS – please share fundraising idea that went off immediately.

  14. Maxabella

    PS – take it from your sister, you look about as much like Nicole Kidman as I look like Antonia. And that’s a very good thing indeed. x

  15. Maxabella

    Did I want to be a commuting cement enclosed office worker with bad hair and attitude? No, no I did not. I was going to be an Encylopeadia Brown slash Actress slash Architect slash Lawyer slash Beautician. Of course. x

  16. PinkPatentMaryJanes

    Oh snap! I too wanted to be an actress {aside from a brief foray into Girl Detective a la Nancy Drew…}. And yet I ended up a writer thanks to my HSC English Teacher – bless her socks.

    I think kids are keen on the slashie idea. My gal wants to be a ballerina, netballer and writer – and then retire to her farm in the southern highlands. Cute.

  17. Langdowns

    Love the term Slashie!!!

    I always wanted to be a veterinary assistant. Not the actual vet (too much pressure) but the assistant. Interestingly enough I went to university and did management stuff and ended up as the Executive Officer to the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer. No hands on working with animals, rather a Government office. But hey, I still ended up as a veterinary assistant!! Go figure …

    Anyway, I’ve left that to pursue other things. I recall I also wanted to be a writer. That dream is being fulfilled too.

    SO I guess it’s true. I am a case in point. You can be anything you want …

  18. misssy m

    I wanted to be avet journalist who is also a private investigator. I still think there’s a market for it.

  19. EmmaK

    Yeah I was a slashy when I was a nipper: I wanted to be a policewoman, teacher, then doctor all before the age of 30! But I also wanted to swan around in maribou feathers and high heels – that’s what my life is like now lady of leisure so to some extent I achieved the dream!

  20. inawelshgarden

    You do look like Nicole Kidman going from your profile pic. Just thought I’d vocalise an oft- thought, well,you know,thought.

    Any-way… I think I wanted to be an artist,mostly. Which is what I did – and do – as it happens. Kind of. In between the Mother stuff and everything else.

    If the art thing hadn’t been inevitable then I’d like to have been a singer/songwriter a photo-journalist. I’d still like to be a photo-journalist actually.And to write things.

  21. Christie - Childhood 101

    I am still trying to work out what I want to be when I grow up!!

  22. Deer Baby

    Great post.

    I love what your sons said. It’s great that they think they can do or be anything and you’ve instilled that in them. Kudos.

    My son wants to be a writer/animator/graphic designer/comedian at the moment. It changes round. My friend who is an art editor took him round the studio for the day and he saw all these young guys eating cereal and Haribos at 3pm and thought it looked pretty cool. My daughter wants to be a dog or spooky.

    I guess I always wanted to be a writer.

  23. So Now What?

    Sadly I don’t really remember anything in my younger days, but I wanted to be a paper journalist later on at highschool.

    Unfortunately I dicked around too much at school and although my grades were great, wasn’t ready to keep studying after year 12.

    If I could go back, I’d give myself an uppercut and tell myself to get a grip.

    I love that your children have aspirations.

    My 11yo is flitting between teacher and journalist. Hello 13 weeks holidays a year!!

  24. Shauna

    I always wanted to be a social worker. Now im learning how to be a mental health nurse. Quite related really only now i can dress wounds (badly), remove drains and catheters and inject drugs into vulnerable people.

    Niamh wants to be a ‘zooer’ (zookeeper), a ‘beader’ (make glass beads/stuff like her dad does) and a police woman because she wants to make the world better.
    Michael wants to join the army (we think). Liam has no idea and Tom has decided he’ll be a plumber or an electrician.

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