Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Almost Seven, Going on Eleven
L, J, Dave, & Katja at P.F. Changs
Our son J and grandson L flew in from New Orleans last Wednesday for a long weekend. Their visit was the highlight of our year. L, who will turn seven in September, enters second grade in August in his Spanish-immersion school. He’s grown four inches in the past year and is older and more grown up than we saw him last Thanksgiving. The four-day visit went by too quickly, but we packed in a lot of things. My favorite was the new Smale Park down at the riverfront. J, L, and Katja rode on the wonderful new carousel, and we checked out all the sights and kids’ activities. L’s favorite outing was the Cincy Zoo where we saw the painted dogs and the cheetah run 60 m.p.h. We all went to see Ant-Man at the Cinemark, and J, L, and I went to the Taft Museum whose current remarkable photography exhibition is on “Edward Curtis and the North American Indians.” J and Katja went to the opera (Turandot) while L and I saw Adam Sandler’s new movie, Pixels. L rated it 10 out of 10, though I was more in the 2-3 range. L, consistent with his family heritage has become addicted to Skyline Chili, and we ate there four times (usually followed by dessert at Graeter’s ice cream parlor). Katja treated us to dinner at P.F. Chang’s. L also liked the breakfast bar at Frisch’s. His current life quest is collecting Pokemon cards, and we went to Target to expand his collection. We also took in a couple of thrift shops, buying kid and adult treasures. J helped me set up the new Apple computer that I got for my birthday, as well as the FitBit exercise monitor that Katja bought me. All in all, we had a great time.
On our grandkids’ Thanksgiving visit last November I interviewed both L and his sister V, and I repeated that with L this time. We typically see the kids every 3 to 6 months, so they’ve always changed noticeably. L is more articulate, funny, and smart as ever. Here’s what was on his mind this time around.
How old are you now? Six.
How many teeth did you lose so far? Three.
What grade did you just finish? First grade.
What is your favorite subject in school? Art. (What kind of art?) Painting.
What is the hardest thing in school? The flu shot.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I don’t know. A doctor?
Do you want to be a fireman? No.
Do you want to be a storekeeper? What’s a storekeeper? (Someone who runs a store.) No.
Do you want to be a soldier? No.
Who is your favorite superhero? Thor. (What are his powers?) A hammer.
Who is your second favorite superhero? Martian Manhunter.
What is your favorite movie? Minions. And the Pokemon Movie.
What is your favorite sport? Tennis. (Can you play tennis?) Can’t play. (Will you in the future?) Yes. With my new robot leg.
Who is the president of the United States? Barack Obama.
Who would be the best president – you or your sister? Me. (Why?) Don’t know.
If you could change something about yourself, what would it be? I don’t know. (Squeals) I don’t know.
What would you change about your sister? That’s a hard one too. Her life.
What would you change about your parents? I don’t know. (laughs) That’s a hard question.
What do you dream about most often? Pokemon.
Who is your favorite Pokemon character? Mew. And Mewtoo.
What are you good at? (L writes down: “100 + 11 = 111”) Arithmetic? Yes.
What is your favorite food? I had it last night. Dumplings. But not the spicy ones. And pizza is number one. I have a lot of number ones.
Are you serious or funny? Serious and funny. I’m funny right now.
Are you selfish or generous? Both.
Handsome or strong? Handsome.
What is the meaning of life? That is the hardest question.
What is life most like: Spongebob Squarepants, Star Wars, or cherry pie? Star Wars.
What do you think is the best time of life – like babies or kids or teenagers or adults? Kids. (Why is that?) Because they’re funny.
Do you think adults work more or have fun more? They work more. (Why is that?) Because they have work.
What is the worst thing that human beings can do? Smoking.
What is your earliest memory as a little child? My first word. “Mine”.
If you got a weekly allowance, what would you like it to be? How about a dollar? WhiWhich would you like most?: to have lots of friends; or to make lots of money; or to be smart. To be smart.
Which would you want to be?: a writer; a musician; an athlete. I think a musician.
Which would you want to be?: an astronaut; a policeman; a soldier. Policeman. Because it’s the least dangerous. I would definitely not choose soldier because that’s the most dangerous.
Would you rather be an artist, a boxer, or a fast runner? An artist.
What animal are you most like? A lion.
Have you ever had a nickname? Yes. Zhongy. Shey-Shey. Rotom.
If you could change your name, what would it be? Mega Charizard E X.
What are you afraid of? Goosebumps.
What makes you mad? V*** being mean to me.
What is something that makes you happy? Snuggles. Like when mom snuggles with me.
What makes you laugh? Being tickled.
If you had one wish, what would it be? To have millions and millions of Pokemon cards.
What is your favorite place in New Orleans? Toys R Us.
What would you say is your weakness? I don’t know.
What do you like best in New Orleans: the aquarium, the zoo, or the insectarium? The zoo.
What is a secret that you never told any of us? It’s a secret! I’m not going to let you know my secrets.
Do you like ice cream or vegetables better? You know. (No, I don’t. What do you like best?) Ice cream.
What is a good knock-knock joke? Knock Knock. Who’s there? Boo. Boo who? Don’t cry, little baby, it’s just a joke.
(On the way to the airport) What did you like best from your trip to Cincinnati? The zoo.
Here are some pictures from our visit. I should mention that after I’d taken twenty or so photos, L asked, “When are you going to stop torturing me?” I didn’t have a good answer, but I thought to myself that it was worth it.
At the Smale Riverfront Park
L, Katja, and J on the carousel
L dressed up for dinner out
Sunday a.m. at Frisch's
A three-way chili feast
Picking out the Pokemon cards
Mango sorbet at Graeter's
Then back to the airport