By Train, From San Francisco To Palo Alto, Return

Doug and I decided it was time to take Riku on a long train ride, now that he knows what trains are all about from his picture books and building sets. We caught the 9:12 a.m. train at the 22nd Street station; Riku's eyes were very big watching the big white lights coming toward us, and was delighted when we climbed aboard. Doug decided that the seats upstairs would give Riku the best view, although he also loved climbing up and down the little winding stairway as well. A little less than an hour later we were in Palo Alto.

Most of downtown Palo Alto was still closed but there was a bookstore open for Doug and a toy store for Riku. What a delight this was for him, as they had a child's "grocery-style" cart made of canvas and wood, which caught his eye immediately. Off he went taking things of interest off the shelves, and putting them in the cart (he looked as though he had been shopping for years; he was so efficient at it!)... a big box with latches and drawers, two mushroom-shaped magnifying glasses, two packages of woolen skeins for weaving, and three wooden cars. He was very upset when we had to leave but a fountain in a nearby courtyard soon distracted him.

Riku napped for a while in his stroller but woke up in time to join us for lunch at Fresh Choice. He ate his own packed lunch and then had a bowl of tapioca pudding, possibly just to keep his Grandpa company.

The next hour and a half was great fun, as we let him walk throughout the Stanford Shopping Centre, a beautiful outdoor mall, with gorgeous flower displays and many pathways to choose from. What a ham he is; he waved to people, stopped to smile at anyone smiling at him, said "hi" to others, smelled the flowers, gently touched the leaves of a few plants, and did his best to entertain the folks sitting admiring him. At one point he put his plastic sippy cup on the ground, and then stooped over to drink from it. He's not far off the ground but it still looked very funny!

Riku does another very silly thing, and I think he knows it's silly... he puts his hands behind him and pats himself on the bottom, and then he crouches down on his haunches. It's his routine! This caught a few people's attention the two times he did it today... so he was pleased that it still gets a reaction.

Riku was a tired boy on the way home but did his very best to stay awake, looking at passing trains, at buses, trucks, and other passengers, flirting away with them, and managing to keep his eyes open until he got back here. Five minutes after handing him his monkey and dog sleeping companions he was sound asleep and slept for forty-five minutes.

For the very first time today Riku insisted on having a tub. I was ready to go upstairs with him, as he had indicated that that was what he wanted to do when he awoke. However, we were in the bathroom together and when I opened the door to head upstairs he shut it firmly and said "splash, splash". We didn't have a lot of play time left so I opened the door and stepped out of the bathroom; Riku came out into the hallway, took my hand and led me back into the bathroom, shut the door firmly, pulling the mat off the tub and heading for his toys in the hamper. So, into the tub he went with lots of tub toys, and two dolls this time.

Bryn picked him up at 6 p.m. Riku gave him a big "hiiii", and when Bryn asked for a kiss, Riku walked over and gave him a big smile and a kiss as well. Very sweet to see. A few minutes later off he went, a little reluctantly, but it's always easier for him to leave if I walk down to the car with him and stand to wave goodbye.

Doug and I left a half hour later to attend a music concert he had won tickets to... great music with fabulous fiddling, which was good, as it kept me awake!


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