We were at the hardware store this afternoon when my race car shopping cart full of singing children rolled up to a fake kitchen.

“Oh cool!” Clara jumped out of the cart Dukes of Hazard style and quickly danced around the counter. “Hey Dad,” she announced. “It’s like I’m on a cooking show!”

Gideon and I shared a look and smiled. “Yes Clara. Just like a cooking show.”

She bowed dramatically. “Okay. What would you like me to make for you today?” She slowly waved her hands around at the sparkling appliances and perfectly arranged cabinetry. “We have everything here. Just name it.”

“Oh.” I thought for a second. “I guess… Could you make me a grilled cheese sandwich, please?”

She tapped her finger against her lip and thought. “Sure… That will be kind of hard.” an exaggerated sigh. “I think maybe I’ll need some cheese for that…” she mumbled to herself.

She wandered toward the refrigerator, checking in a few empty cabinets and drawers along the way. “No. no. … no..” Then opening the refrigerator, “Ah! Look at that!” She twirled around triumphantly with an invisible plate in her hand. “There’s a grilled cheese sandwich in here that someone didn’t eat yesterday. You can just have that!”

I dove to catch the invisible plate before she dropped it on the floor, and began eating the stale pretend sandwich. “The sandwich isn’t half bad,” I told her, “but this is possibly the worst cooking show I have ever seen.”

She bowed again and immediately ran to join her sister who was already halfway into a clothes dryer, her boney legs and rainbow colored shorts waving delicately in the warm spring breeze.