Hi Sam, and welcome. That's a very nice first model. I've been finding it useful to limit myself to one new technique or material per build. I get overextended and frustrated if I try more than that, then the project goes on the shelf for a while. As for photo etch parts, they are made from very thin metal which has been coated with a light-sensitive resist. You expose the resist through a mask, and wherever there is light, the resist hardens, forming a barrier. You then wash away the unexposed resist, and put the metal on a backing tape. You drop it into a solution that removes the unprotected metal. Once the unprotected metal dissolves, you're left with the parts you wanted. You can make parts with very fine holes and details this way.
This game seems to be taking San Diego by storm. I live near a park, and it's been full of kids. On the plus side, they're out walking and face to face socializing. Nobody's gotten run over yet, but a couple of geniuses walked off a cliff near the beach. One fell 80 feet, the other 50, and had to be rescued from the cliff face. Both are going to be very good friends with their orthopedic surgeons for a while.
I'm pretty sure that houses are an infinite time sink. We've got a bunch of stuff that needs doing. My modeling time will be taken up by a gate, a new floor in out bedroom, an exhaust hood in the kitchen, and a new shed.
You have to accept little kids on their own terms. Early on, they're busy building motor skills. At that age, they actually understand quite a bit, but they have no way to communicate with you verbally. They're not completely wired yet. They'd like to come to you, but they can't yet. They will remember you, so being engaged with them is a good thing; even if it's making funny faces at them. He's trying to learn how to interact with you. At this point, he'll give you things, then come and take them again. He's actually learning an important concept, conservation, that we take for granted. Reading a book on child development might help put this all in context for you. It did for me, though many years too late for my niece and nephew. (but, they loved me anyway) The important thing is that you just care about him. He'll figure out that you're real quickly enough. They're very good at that.
Looks like you got a nice, craftsmanlike paint job. Paint drama is still my biggest source of modeling pain. I started making checklists. That helped a lot, but I still have things go awry for various reasons. It gets better tho. My last couple of builds have been largely paint drama-free.