The way I envision how an evening with my nieces will go tends to be completely and utterly opposite of how it usually turns out. I plan out all these fun activities. I imagine them excited to play along. I picture them happily eating what I cook for dinner, settling down to a movie and falling asleep midway through before the clock strikes ten.
Come on, really? You would think I would have learned by now. We usually get through one activity before they wander off to empty out the toy basket, squabble over a chunk of brightly colored plastic, and manage to cover my entire house in toys and messy hand prints. When they've exhausted their interest in the toys I have they wander/snoop through my rooms in search of anything that looks interesting to play with (fabric, home decor, blankets). Come dinner time they've all decided they don't like whats on their plates and suddenly I'm swarmed in munchkins as the three of them pick my plate clean (even if its exactly what I served them). Inevitably somebody's dinner ends up the floor and kicked around the dining room to the amusement of the three of them. After dinner is cleaned up, toys are put away and they're dressed in their matching jammies they bicker over a movie choice which none of them ends up watching. We go through two are three movies and it's after midnight before the last one passes out for the night. By 3 A.M two of them have found their way onto my bed with little feet in my ribs or neck. At 5 A.M the other comes in crying that I turned her movie off (several hours ago actually). By 7 A.M when my alarm goes off they are all sound asleep and I am sleep deprived but dragging myself out of bed to gather up clothes and shoes, get breakfast around and prepare for the inevitable struggle of getting them around to return them home in hopes I might be on time to my noon hair appointment.
I cringe when I think about my long work day ahead of me and the fact that it's one of the busiest nights of the year at the restaurant. Then the oldest wakes up, gives me the cutest grin and asks if I want to watch Ghostbusters with her. Who am I kidding? I love this! The truth is, I don't do this often enough.