"Swimming, Swimming, In The Swimming Pool"

Riku was tapping at the door today at 9 a.m. I love to see his face light up as he spots me coming down the stairs; I especially love the big and joyous "Nana!" as though it has been months since we last saw each other.

Today was a big day and he was talking about it from the moment he came in. We're going swimming today! This was Riku's first time in a pool I believe, and I had hoped to have it be a class with Amelia. The class was full, however, and so we settled for a "free" swim hour from 2-3 p.m.

This worked well, as Riku had time for a leisurely lunch here at home with me after his morning nap, and playtime in the back yard with a squirt bottle and the collecting of stones for his big dump truck.

We left for the Herbst Pool just behind the zoo at 1 p.m. and arrived in time for a visit with Susan and Amelia, who were lunching on the grass after their noon hour class. Amelia was as happy to see us as we were to see her. It was lots of fun for both of them; Riku had a few bigger boys to chase after, and Amelia was there for some exploring and of course a few hugs and kisses too.

Into the water we went, after a warm shower, and Riku loved it from the first moment. This particular pool is as warm as a tub, and so there was no need to ease our way into the water. After just a few minutes I headed into the deeper part of the pool, so that I could hold Riku under his tummy and have him emulate the bigger children who were happily kicking away. He did it immediately and was very pleased with himself.

There were lots of coloured plastic balls to "chase" after and a big ball too, as well as floating boards, long plastic "bar bells" and "noodles"; we tried them all. At one point we headed back to the shallow end by the steps and Riku happily took every plastic toy and ball out of a floating basket to set them free. He was quite happy to "jump" into the pool into my arms too, after watching a few other children doing this, but I didn't let his head go under the water this time. I don't think that would have been a good idea just yet.

We showered together, dried off, and he watched the other children frolicking about the changing area, quite intrigued with all the naked bottoms he saw. Back in the car he had a big cup of yogurt, some raisins and a bread stick, before heading off to see the huge waves at Ocean Beach, created by a very high tide yesterday. Ten minutes later he was sound asleep, and napped for an hour while I drove and parked for a bit in the shade.

He asked for another yogurt at home so instead he had a Weetabix with cut up strawberries, which he loved. At one point he relaxed by lying on the sofa, reading a book, which was just adorable. We had just enough time for four books... "Where's Spot?", "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?", "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?" and today's very favourite, "Fire Trucks in Action", before his mommy called.

At 6:15 we set off in the just-dark night for a slow walk home, and he counted his way down the steps for the very first time from one to six. His dad tells me they are doing lots of counting activities too, on the white board hanging on the kitchen wall, and while reading stories. Every little bit helps with understanding how the world works.

There was time for some exploring on the way home, although he was tuckered out from his swim, and also wanted to be carried for bits of it. I'm amazed to notice that he will reach for a hand every single time he comes to a road to cross... no fuss, no bother, it's just the way it works.

Riku is talking so well and clearly; whilst passing over the freeway he stated "many cars going fast" and he now asks so many questions and re-tells his day for me. It is such a joy to see the changes coming so frequently and with such ease.

I'm home and tired and ready for an early night myself. Just eight more days until Kelly, Gregg, and the children will be sleeping under our roof for the very first time ever as a group. What fun it will be and I must get busy with the list of all we want to do while they're here.


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