I admire how much amusement kids can glean from the simplestthings. Like most childhood traits, their sense of humour is remarkably intact, unsophisticated and pure.

Saskia and Leif reminded each other for days of Ariana’s accidental flick of the garburator switch under the kitchen sink. The terrified, guilty look on her face as she hurried from the room on her fat baby legs when the machine roared into action struck them as hilarious.

Last week I told Saskia and her seven-year-old cousin, Elle, how Leif had opened the closet door when he tried to leave his unfamiliar bedroom at Opa and Oma’s house. They shouted appreciatively.

Then I told the girls about Ariana’s behaviour at a restaurant earlier in the day. “She was bored, so I gave her the slice of lemon from my water glass,” I began. They waited expectantly. “She licked it and pulled a face.” They were delighted. “Then she put the lemon slice on the table and spanked it,” I concluded. I wasn’t disappointed. They laughed until they were breathless.

When they had finally composed themselves, Saskia squeaked, “Ariana spanked a lemon for being sour!” and they doubled over again.

I envy them.