Our trip to Little Rock has been filled with all of Colin's most favourite things: planes, trains, and automobiles, thanks to his wonderful Mae Mae who know just what her grandson likes.
Last week, she took us to visit my junior high school guidance counsellor, who just happens to have the world's most amazing electric train set in his backyard--in his entire back yard. The "garden-scale" train comes complete with a high-level bridge, a fishpond and waterfall, and a train station inside the garden shed. I have never seen Colin so impressed with anything in his entire life. He looks a little blasé in these photos, but that's just his intense concentration. Trust me, a few minutes earlier he was full dimples and smiling from ear to ear.
A few days later, she took us to the Little Rock Aerospace Museum on it's last day of operation. It's closing in 2011 due to insufficient funds. It's not hard to see why. It's small and a little shabby. But Colin didn't care. It had airplanes, and he is obsessed with airplanes these days. The museum has a small space shuttle capsule, half a dozen World War I-era propellor planes, a few antique cars, and dozens of display cases full of model planes. Unfortunately, Colin really, really wanted to get inside those glass display cases and play with the planes, and he found the upside-down astronaut hanging outside the space station to be very upsetting, but, boy, did he love those "big air-panes."
However, the real excitement of the week has been my brother's collection of matchbox cars, which my mom fished out of the attic. Those old cars--all from the seventies and early eighties (and no doubt made in China and covered in lead paint)--have been more popular than any Christmas present. He plays with them for about six hours every day, racing them along the couch and lining them up end to end, and insists on having one or two in each hand any time we leave the house. In fact, a typical "conversation" with Colin goes a little something like this: "Cars, choo-choo train, airplane, cars, helicopter, cars, cars, big cars, big-BIG cars!" So clearly cars have been the BIG hit of the week.
My only concern is how he'll manage to leave them behind. I think they should stay at Mae Mae's house for him to play with whenever he visits, and the only cars he has at home in Edmonton are wooden toddler cars. Fortunately, Mae Mae thought of everything and for Christmas gave him a small starter set (complete with play mat) of matchbox cars--big, BIG boy cars!