Even though we were still in the midst of our dumpster filling endeavor, I agreed to have my niece spend the night with us on Saturday. She's almost four-and-a-half and can entertain herself pretty well, so I figured we could continue some of the hauling while she played inside.
When she arrived, she took advantage of the open basement doors to poke around through all of the weird junk I've accumulated over the years. This led to an apparently fascinating game that involved burying plastic Easter eggs in a pile of topsoil that I'd just poured into a depression in the lawn. I mistakenly thought that I was meant to dig the eggs up once she'd finished (we'd already played a couple variations of hide-and-seek), but I was halted by her vehement protests.
Thanks to all of the cleaning efforts, I didn't get a chance to go to the grocery store for dinner ingredients until it was fairly late. By the time I began steaming corn on the cob and grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, it was already dark outside. The hamburgers weren't the extra-lean kind, so they produced some impressive flames whenever I opened the lid of the propane grill. The first time this happened, my niece exclaimed dramatically, "This can't be happening!"
It cracked me up because she'd obviously picked up the phrase and delivery from a cartoon or other kids' show. I explained that our burgers weren't burning up and that seemed to mollify her.
By then we were eating our hot dogs and corn while we waited for the hamburgers, and my niece proclaimed, "This dinner rocks!"
Since we were in rock mode already, when my niece and I went to the back deck to eat our burgers (my husband wisely stayed inside to avoid the mosquitoes) I told her we'd be having a party in a two weeks with a band and other kids coming over. I said I was going to sing some songs and she wanted to know if she could sing, too. She then burst into a pretty decent rendition of the chorus of "My Immortal" by Evanescence. Combine that with her fascination with my husband's drums and I think we have a future rock n' roller on our hands.
She ended up getting to stay up pretty late, but she still came and woke me up at 7 a.m. on Sunday with a desire for breakfast. She'd already put in a request for bacon, eggs and toast the day before, so I dutifully produced them in kid-sized form and waited until later to fix breakfast for the adults.
All in all, it was a delightful visit. Maybe I should have the band learn "My Immortal," just in case...