I took both my nephews climbing at Planet Granite today, followed by lunch at Sweet Tomatoes. (I had soup and salad. The boys had a good go at eating their weight in tomato and cheese focaccia and soft-serve ice cream.) I believe this is the first extended outing I've done with both boys and no other adults, and it went very smoothly, which is primarily a testament to their increased maturity. (The boys do have superb comic timing. At one point, I was in the restroom thinking, "How nice that the boys are old enough that I can leave them alone for a few moments without anyone...." At which point, the restroom door was flung open and Younger Nephew hollered "Aunt Wendyyyyyy!!!!" at the top of his lungs.)
While we were at Planet Granite, Younger Nephew did manage to get in a tussling match with a younger boy. (I had to kind of admire the kid's brass - he was at least two years younger than Younger Nephew, and Younger Nephew has fighting skills of the kind that only sensitive middle-children develop, but this little kid was holding his own.) The moment I arrived on the scene, the two of them disengaged, and the kid I didn't know looked up at me, clearly expecting to get yelled at for fighting.
I crouched down so that I was at his eye level, and said cheerfully, "Hello. What's your name?"
He looked at me very suspiciously. "Paul," he said finally.
I held out my hand and he took it. I gave it a nice firm shake. "Hello, Paul. My name is Wendy. I'm very pleased to meet you."
Paul dropped my hand and took off running, presumably to find an adult who wouldn't try to *talk* to him. I never did get to the bottom of why he and Younger Nephew were fighting, but they didn't bother each other again for the rest of the time we were there.
I have belatedly realized that I was totally channeling Tom Baker's Doctor there. At least I didn't offer the poor kid a jelly baby.