Tweak relationships & AR loading question

Hi,

Imagine you have a model Guy. Pick a guy from your table.
Maybe he is married and have children (single guys can't have children,
can they?). So your are tempted to write:

class Guy < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :children
end

But if he is single, he can't have children. So you wan't to write:

class Guy < ActiveRecord::Base
  if self.single
    has_many :children
  else
    has_one :child
  end
end

This could work: in fact has_* is just a macro for a bunch of specific
define_method. I am wrong?

But it doesn't: the loading of the class fails claiming for
NoMethodError: undefined method `single'
I don't understand: does AR loads relationships before defining
accessors? And if I force attr_accessor :single, assuming AR will
override it, I've got the same error. Does he parses the whole class
seeking for relationship first?

Thanks for your help,

After going deeper in the source code, @attributes =
attributes_from_column_definition is called in the initialize method of
ActiveRecord::Base.

Actually, during the loading of the class, there is first:

ActiveRecord::Base.class_eval do
  include ActiveRecord::Validations
  ../..
  include ActiveRecord::Associations
  ../..
end

@attributes is not initialized yet.
I thought ActiveRecord::Validations could help me, to see how it handles
passed attributes, but I didn't understand the validates_each method
(line 291). What's the send method? :confused: