A Day At Home With Riku

Bryn dropped Riku off at 9 a.m. today. He was late to bed last night and up early this morning, so I knew he would be fading faster than usual today. I made up a big bowl of seven-grain cereal, with his favourite strawberries, and he ate it all up while sitting at the table while I ate my own breakfast. He did a little drawing and we went upstairs for a while too; at 10:30 he was sound asleep!

Riku napped for only an hour and a bit; he is having trouble sleeping longer in bed these days. I knew if I had put him in the car, or even in the stroller, he would have slept for another half hour or more, but I am so reluctant to give in to this. He settled down twice quickly after wakening before he finally got up, and was certainly cheerful. I can tell by how he wakened though that it wasn't as much sleep as he needed.

However, he was ready to eat again, and he helped me cook his breakfast... by cracking an egg, but saying "uh oh!" when some of the whites dripped, and he put the plate with the "bacon" in the microwave and pushed the button to start it up. Riku dipped his "soldiers" into the runny egg, used a fork to eat every bite of the rest of the egg, drank lots of "Super Food", and ate most of his tomatoes too. He is still coughing, and once again I was surprised by how well he is eating despite that.

Time for the button box again! While he was sorting through them all, I decided to sew a button on a pair of Doug's slacks. Well, now Riku knows all about "sewing circles" and "spools" and has investigated a stitch ripper, and a tape measure too. By the end of this session he could point to the number two on it. Riku must have been busy for a half hour, picking up the spools, naming the colours, twisting the thread off and on the spools, and asking "What is this?" as he found objects he had never seen before.

After that, Riku decided it was time for "many books" so we stacked them up on the table and read them all. It was a foggy and quite breezy day for most of the morning and early afternoon, but the sun finally came out and we went out into the yard for a bit. I planned to take him to a different neighbourhood playground today, but he needed his second nap too, and the trip didn't happen before that.

He had Grandpa read a few books in the living room before his nap though; he is very clear about who is going to read which books to him at any given time. At one point he was very quiet, and I found him standing in the front room again, going through all those books. The ones he likes in that room have sounds... lions, cats, a barking dog, and ducks, but he rarely asks for those to be read to him. They are perfect for the solitary times he is happy with.

Nap time at 3 p.m. and again he slept for just an hour and a bit, but obviously could have used more sleep. His stuffy nose probably isn't helping either, but he snuggled up with "many animals" and dozed off again a second time. As soon as Riku woke up he wanted to go upstairs... "Nana come upstairs and play with farm". I quickly washed and cut some grapes for him, got his glass of water, and went up and ironed while he moved the animals in and out of the farm, asking lots of questions about what they were doing and what the silo was for, etc.

The rest of our time together raced by. We went out in the yard for a bit, time enough to get the red broom out and sweep up bits, and enjoy the sunshine too, without the cool breeze in a more exposed area. Riku was just helping me tidy up his bed (he was doing his best to fold a small blanket) when Bryn walked in earlier than usual... just past 5 p.m. He planned to stay for a bit, so Riku and I went back upstairs to read more books, and I took up a plate of cucumbers, celery sticks, and carrots for me to munch on. Riku "not like cucumbers", and "not like celery"... it was bitter, but he tried them both and put them neatly out of his mouth into a Kleenex once that was decided. However, he did like the carrot sticks and ate three of them! He had cooked carrots in his afternoon "snack"... quite a hearty meal actually, so it was interesting to see that he would eat them raw too.

A funny thing happened though: as he was chewing them he took my two hands and held them up to his face. While I was chewing mine, he did the same with me. I was quite puzzled as to why he would do this, but the third time he did it he looked at me straigt in the eye, gently put his hands near my mouth and said "chew, chew, chew"! It was very endearing as it was so lovingly said.

I had time to wash his hair at the kitchen sink and Bryn sat Riku on his lap and looked at the photos of our trip to San Jose on Tuesday.

Off they went at 6:30 for a dinner of eel and rice. Riku called to say goodnight at 8:45 and told me he had a "big belly", as he had eaten a big dinner.

Doug and I had soup for dinner tonight, and Doug finished off the second last piece of his second cheesecake for dessert, a word Riku now knows very well. Grandpa and Riku both had some this afternoon. When Doug teased Riku and said it was "yucky", Riku quickly corrected him and said it was "not yucky!" Actually, as Riku was walking up the stairs this morning, he was talking about cheesecake, so he remembered it was here from two days ago! Yep, third generation for this recipe. Guess it's a keeper!

I went upstairs with a hot cup of tea, watched a bit of a taped Oprah, and then decided to get more of the ironing done. I thought I had finished it, but there are five more shirts awaiting me downstairs. Darn! If it weren't 11 p.m. I would finish them off; that would be a good birthday present right there, but I am not doing it. I will just ignore them completely until next week.

Cards in today from Susan's mom in Victoria, Judith from Maryland, Ellen from Cupertino, and Nicole from BC... and email greetings from Don, and e-cards from Becky, Carol Roberts, and Sandy too ... lucky me!


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