Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dialogues of the Preschoolers: International Trade Edition

by Tom Bozzo

John (swooshing the toy airplane given out as favors for children at the Jet Room): Hey, Daddy, "airplane" starts with "C!"

Daddy: Oh, really? I think 'airplane' starts with "A" — "รข," "airplane."

J.: You're right! "Airplane" does start with "A."

D.: Yes, very good, big guy.

J.: C-h-i-n-a. Airplane!

D.: You know what, John, C-h-i-n-a spells "China."

J.: Oh.

D.: China is a country far away, where the airplane was made.

J.: Oh, I see... (*)

(*) "I see" with the emphasis on a drawn-out "I" is something I'd picked up from my Sainted Dissertation Adviser and which John picked up from me.
If we teach children too much they'll grow up to take over the world. And do we REALLY want children to be our future??

p.s. J has to be WAY ahead of the curve for his age, right? He's only in preschool??
MT, sometimes I think both kids could take over the world before they're toilet trained.

We can be thankful that the LEGO space fleet only has pretend weapons.
It's frightening how they choose to occupy their brains. Quinn (nearly 4) is so airplane-obsessed that he's memorized many of the colors and logos of the airlines. He knows, for example, that UPS planes are brown, DHL planes are yellow, and Alaska planes have "the guy." He recently asked why Continental is changing its logo from the "big ball" to the white C on the red background. (My answer: focus groups.) And, when I pointed out a US Airways plane to him, coincidentally while we were on a US Airways flight, he loudly announced, "they're bankrupt."
That's pretty impressive on Quinn's part. My return to flying is recent enough that I didn't even know Continental was repainting. (I tend to view redesigning the airline livery as a leading indicator of bankruptcy, but that's another story.) It also reminds me of the days when John was better at ID'ing TtFTE characters than some of his immediate relatives.

I don't get to go along for most of the Jet Room trips (it's on the general aviation side of the airport), so I haven't had much of a chance to teach him the different light planes. I should probably get him a book, though... our civil aviation encyclopedia dates from the early eighties and as such has none of the RJs and airbuses that frequent Madison.
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