I took Younger Nephew to the Hiller Aviation Museum
today. Which marked a milestone for me in that I believe it was the first time I've taken one of the niblings out solo, without another adult for backup.
The air museum is a great place to take kids. (The place was packed today with adults being obediently towed around by enthusiastic 4-8 year olds.) Younger Nephew took great delight in the biplane flight simulator, methodically demonstrating to me how he could crash it into the ground, the ocean, a nearby building, and so on. He played with the helicopter simulator for a bit, before declaring that "helicopters are hard," an entirely accurate assessment given what I know about helicopters. We also got a surprising amount of mileage out of a weather simulator - it was a touch screen with sliders that let you set the humidity, surface temperature, and air temperature, and then it would display the weather that would result. After I explained to him what the three sliders were for, and showed him how to make it snow, that absorbed his attention for *minutes*.
They have a cockpit section of a Boeing 747 out back, and we sat in the passenger seats and traded stories about flying.
Funnily enough, the thing I told Younger Nephew that seemed to intrigue him the most was that when I was his age, there were no red or blue M&Ms. This prompted all kinds of questions: "What colors did they have?", "How old were you when they added red M&Ms? How about blue M&Ms?" and, most amusingly, "Did you ever have a dream where you were waiting for the red M&Ms and then you woke up in a giant basket of red M&Ms?"
I think this opens previously untapped realms of conversation with Younger Nephew. We didn't even get into the fact that Skittles weren't produced domestically in the United States when I was his age.