My parents had "time off" from entertaining my niece and nephew this evening, so the kidlets got quality time with me. My niece is 11 and my nephew is 6. I do not have kids of my own, so I'm all about fun time. As long as I return them safe and sound -- no broken bones and everyone is alive and breathing -- I feel I have done my job.
I learned a few things while hanging with the kidlets this evening:
1) My niece has some kind of secret voodoo powers when it comes to the Claw game. You know the ones: outside movie theaters or in arcades, you drop in the money and you have a certain amount of time to maneuver the claw up and over to see if it can grab a toy and hang onto it long enough to drop it down the chute. $1 later and she is now the proud owner of a pinkish-purple and leopard print cow-bear-dog thing. That takes skill, my friend.
2) My nephew is smart enough to realize that when there are large amounts of geese around there is also a large amount of goose poop in the area, and you should not roll down the hill in the park. This will not, however, keep him from diving to try and stop his sister while running a race. After landing with his hand in goose poop he will then run over to you, the adult-type person, freaking out about it. What makes him awesome is that after you squirt his hand down liberally with hand sanitizer and tell him to dry it off on the grass, he is good to go until he can get home to wash it.
3) My nephew will ask an endless amount of questions about mummies. Are they real? How do you make them? Why did the Egyptians do that? He will be equal parts fascinated and disgusted when told about the brain being pulled out through the nose. "Well, it's a good thing we didn't live back then, guys! That's just gross! Does anybody still do that?"
4) My niece can drink an entire medium-sized Oreo Cookie Vanilla Bean Coolata from Dunkin' Donuts in the 10 minutes it takes to drive from said establishment to my parents' house. She can do this without getting brain freeze. Upon arrival at the house she will then announce that her stomach is killing her, change into her pajamas, and proceed to fall asleep on the couch for an hour.
5) My nephew has decided it is his job to remove all bugs from the house-- a fly, a moth that somehow got in. My mother has embraced this and got him his own fly swatter. He will hunt down a moth, and then open the front door and declare, "We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Which is it going to be?" He will also randomly pop into the room with questions like, "Aunt Tammy, do Daddy Longlegs eat flies? Because there is one on the porch, and I just scooched a fly over to him."
6) My nephew has apparently memorized the channel options at my parents' house, and will give advice on what you should watch. "Wander Over Yonder is on, Aunt Tammy! Or, we can watch Starz On Demand. We already saw Frozen, but they have other good movies like Planes, Hotel Transylvania, Monsters University, and that one about the family with the mom who has super-stretchy powers." I don't know what it says about my maturity level that I knew he meant The Incredibles without having to check the guide.
7) After sleeping for an hour, my niece will wake up and ask if she can have an Italian ice for dessert. She will claim to have no memory of the entire conversation about how her stomach was killing her and the threat of puking. I made her wait half an hour and then gave her one. I figured if she hadn't hurled by then we were probably safe. Go on and enjoy that sugar high, kid! It's mostly water anyway, right?
8) My nephew loves the movie Hotel Transylvania. A lot. "This is the good part, Aunt Tammy! Are you watching?"
9) Neither of them will go to bed without having the air conditioner on, even though it is only 66 degrees outside. Do not even try negotiating this point.
10) Neither of them wants you to read them a bedtime story. They each have a tablet or Kindle, and they want to watch Netflix until they fall asleep. Really? My, times have changed!