There’s nothing like having a toddler around to keep us all entertained and on our toes.

My niece arrived on a recent Thursday with her almost-2-year-old daughter to spend time with family. They were at the house when I arrived home for supper that evening. We’d been following my great-niece’s activities through photos and videos my niece sent to her mother periodically. There was one of the baby bouncing around on her father’s lap while he sang "The People on the Bus." In another, she was working on her ABCs although "B" seemed to be her favorite letter.

Anyway, for this weekend we’d get to see her in person.

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived for supper was that our young visitor had discovered our collection of plastic wind-up toys. I managed to avoid stepping on one on the way to the kitchen table. She especially liked the little chick with an Easter hat on that hops along at a good clip when wound up. That toy and a few other Easter or spring-themed toys had been placed on the kitchen windowsill when we pulled the Easter basket down from the cupboard the previous week.

My niece managed to pull her daughter away from the wind-up entertainment so we could all sit down together to eat. The first evening, the child ate pretty well.

"She really likes your meatloaf," my niece told my mother. The catsup might have helped.

"She loves condiments," said my niece.

I had to head back to the office after supper, but my great-niece blew me a kiss good-bye. We heard later that she blows kisses rather regularly and not always just to people. When she is allowed to flush the toilet at home, she blows it a kiss before exiting the bathroom.

My youngest sister arrived the following day to spend some time with gang. That evening we sat down to a zucchini, ground beef and rice dish that we all liked. The toddler didn’t seem too interested. She preferred standing up in her chair and making everyone nervous until she could be persuaded to sit down again.

She was still fascinated by the wind-up toys, but we showed her some of our other prizes. My youngest sister had brought us little plastic rabbits with suction cups on their feet a year or two ago. The child watched, fascinated, as a suction cup was pressed down onto the table and then released, sending the plastic rabbit jumping straight up into the air.

My youngest sister had to leave fairly early Saturday morning for a work commitment, but I finally had some free time to spend with our visitors. We went on a shopping trip to Little Falls in the morning and then joined my mother for lunch. In the afternoon, I ran some errands while the other three checked out an antique shop. Then we met up at the church thrift shop, where I picked up a pair of slacks and a puzzle.

The others had already left by the time I checked out, but the littlest visitor had made an impression on our friend at the checkout counter.

"She didn’t smile much, but she did blow me a kiss," she said.

Some relatives were at the house when we arrived and we visited with them for awhile.

After another lively supper, my niece packed up the baby and their various belongings and prepared to head for home — but not before the baby had a chance to blow us each a kiss.

Donna Thompson is the trends editor of the Times Telegram. Email her at donna@timestelegram.com or call her at 315-866-2220.