Nine-year-old nephews and other travel tips

My nephew is nine and very energetic. He loves heavy rock music, and he’s a master at Fruit Ninja. His favorite superhero is Ghostrider and he’s trying out for the football team next fall, but he still has a soft spot for his adorable puppy, Max. He rarely stops talking.

This week, he and his mom (my stepsister) joined us on vacation, with very entertaining results. These are some of his greatest moments.

A boy sitting upside-down in a chair

My nephew shows how to properly sit in a chair, by counter-example.

First, the airport, where Nephew learns about politics. “Syria,” he said, reading a passing news headline thoughtfully. “It’s almost like cereal.”

He was very impressed by many of the things he saw on vacation. “This is awesome!” he would exclaim. When we got to the hotel, he was so excited that he assigned us all letters. “You’re ‘O’, you’re ‘M’, and you’re ‘G’. This place is awesome!” He even enjoyed eating escargot (it was also “awesome!”) until my daddy told him what it was. “You just ate snails.” Nephew was in shock.

You see, my nephew is very in-touch with his senses. “You smell like those three dogs,” he told us one day, and he was never afraid to let us know he didn’t like a food he just tried. “Yuck,” he would say in that certain deadpan way only a nine-year-old can. However, his speech on cantaloupe was quite insightful I thought. “They’re like bananas. You know how Coke and Coke Zero taste the same, but Coke Zero has a little weird taste? That’s how these are. It’s like a banana with a little weird taste.” (I’m really glad he was always willing to try new foods, even when he didn’t like some of them.)

One day at dinner he stopped us all for a moment. “Wait…” he whispered to himself. “Dad says eat healthy.” We had many interesting discussions at mealtimes. One day it was zombies; the next, facial hair. (Thankfully, he promised to never let me have any facial hair. He would hold me accountable as an old lady. That’s what family is for, right?) “You’re silly,” his mom told him. “That’s what sons are for!” he replied.

Here are a few more of his most quoteable moments:

  • “Whenever someone learns to play cards, they always win… I bet $112 you’ll win.”
  • “I have an idiom for you… I just thought of it.”
  • “When you go crazy, you take Viagra.”
  • “He’s as strong as a tiger plus a cheetah plus a lion.”

Despite his intentional (or not-so-intentional) hilarity, my favorite time with my nephew was at a sushi restaurant. No, he didn’t like sushi, but it was still fun. He had just seen “The Help” and had a lot of questions about it. It was really cool to hear his perspective on the film and to talk to him about something I’m passionate about: good storytelling. And man is he full of stories.


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