Aidan and I went to Chicago this weekend to visit some family. The cousins that we went to see were my big brothers growing up - not really, but I didn't actually have older brothers, and these guys were mine. I worshipped them. I don't still worship them, but I do still think the world of them, look forward to seeing them and very much enjoy the catching up. We still laugh and giggle. All around blast.
One has two kids, and Aidan couldn't get enough of them, though they were a little dubious of him, at least at first. Violet, nearly five now, was suspicious right off, sure to indicate when Aidan picked up something that was hers or belonged in her house. I explained that he would not leave with anything he hadn't come with - no thievery. No problem, then, for Violet. Lily, not so much. She's nearly three, and was very anxious about Aidan playing with her toys. In fact, she grabbed whatever toy Aidan would pick up to play with. Her mom told her couldn't just grab the toys, that she had to ask for them. After that se'd stand and ask him for the toy, and then grab it when he had no idea what she was saying. Of course, she warmed up to him on the morning we were leaving.
Aidan was fascinated by these older girls. He would reach out to touch Violet's hair or face, and squeal with delight. He loved their games, too. They played one in which their dad would be a monster and "frighten" them, and then they'd go squealing and running through the house into another room. Aidan watched this for awhile, then decided to play, too. Of course he had no idea what was going on, but he saw them giggling and running, and that seemed pretty fun to him. He was in the hallway that they ran through, so as they yelled, he tried to imitate the noises they made. At first this was enough, but then he got bolder. He decided to get in on the running, too. He walked toward the back of the house, where the monster was located, and started making the yelling/squealing noises. As the girls were "scared" and came tearing through the house, he started running with them (of course, much slower than them), and as they got close to him, his eyes got big as saucers, and he turned and ran to me instead. Maybe he'd set his sites a little too high.
This was Aidan's second trip via plane, and I was a little nervous to be traveling with him alone (Daddy had to work and couldn't come with us). Turned out better than could be expected - we're four for four (though I hate to admit it, possibly jinxing future trips). He falls asleep on me as we're leaving the tarmac (literally, during actual takeoff), and I wake him up as we're needing to get off the plane. What did I do to deserve him? I don't remember being that good a child. The airport was pretty funny, too. Our flight was cancelled and we were put on a later one, so we spent more time there than we'd planned. Ever chased a one-year-old through O'Hare Airport? Good times. At least he's cheerful as he runs through the crowds to explore, occasionally stopping at a pretty, dark-haired girl (usually the same one) with arms outstretched in the universal "pick me up" sign. Daddy would've been proud, and he had good taste to boot! I'd say that I'm now encouraged to travel alone with him often, but we'd still rather go with Daddy - we missed him.