Thursday With Riku

Thursday is my regularly scheduled day with Riku, and we had tentative plans to take him to either San Jose (to the Discovery Museum) or to a small museum here in the city. I didn't walk over to pick him up until 9:30 and he was a sleepy boy, so we decided the smaller and local Randall Museum would be the perfect fit for today.

He enjoyed his walk over here as always, stopping to wave hello to Lily (she is our local one-woman dry cleaning lady) and blowing her a kiss for the first time; she was thrilled to bits. Riku is such a friendly little boy and waves hello or says "Hi!" to almost everyone he passes.

We sat and had breakfast together; Riku really enjoys scooping up the biggest blueberries and cherries from his hot cereal. Today he ate a whole piece of toast too, and went down for his morning nap with a bulging tummy.

Of course he needed some time with his full tin of cars, trucks, buses, motorcycle, skateboard, and bicycle when he awoke and then he was ready for some lunch. I can't believe how much he is eating these days! Today he had polenta, fresh tomatoes, and lots of mushrooms, sauteed in butter (his very favourite and they disappear first).

Off we went to the Randall Museum, just above the Castro District. There is a large room filled with caged animals which are either disabled or too old to survive on their own in the wild. We saw crows, ravens, magpies, a tiny short-eared owl, a bald eagle, several kinds of hawks, quail, toads, frogs, snakes, salamanders, turtles, tortoise, rats, chickens, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, sea stars, tarantula, scorpion, and bees in combs... plus many more I'm sure I have forgotten!

Riku enjoyed being in the cage with the rabbits and chickens, but wasn't terribly interested in the birds once he had paid them attention initially. However, he was very interested in climbing up and down each set of small stoops to look at the frogs, toads, and spiders. This kept him busy for a long time, until he discovered four drawers filled with various interesting objects, and a magnifying glass to inspect them even more carefully.

There was a long ramp leading down to the basement and Riku quite enjoys moving quickly up and down any ramps he comes across these days. However, this was a bonus ramp with a vast model railroad set-up in the basement. Normally this is only open for a few hours on Saturday, but today one of the "engineers" was in working on the trains and invited us in to watch. What a treat! He was so nice and ran the trains in such a way that they came by us more frequently. Doug was very keen and asked lots of questions and as a result of this we were invited "behind the scenes" to follow the trains right 'round the back to where the public is not normally allowed. Riku was most fond of the "smoke", the tunnels, and the bridges. What a fun half hour that was!

Just as we pulled up at home, Akane and Bryn pulled in behind us. Bryn said they would come up for a bit, and I invited them to stay for an impromptu dinner... penne pasta with tomato sauce and some homemade pesto, and a big mixed green salad with avocado and pine nuts. Once again Riku ate a good sized portion of dinner, followed by coconut pudding with strawberries, and then some of the Devon Custard out of his Dad's bowl too!

They left for home while I cleaned the kitchen, before dashing over to their house to babysit Riku. Akane and Bryn left at 7:30 to see Brian Wilson in concert; Doug drove them to avoid parking hassles, and Riku and I played with his blocks in his room. Grandpa joined us for a good half hour after that; we made some neat building type things but were amazed at how well Riku could match everything up so it was perfectly balanced.

After such a busy day Riku was a tired little fellow; I put him into his pj's, brushed his teeth and we read two books... "Are You My Mother?" and "Goodnight Moon". Ten minutes later he was sound asleep, and then Doug and I promptly fell asleep at both ends of the sofa covered with a blanket! It was chilly and oh-so-comfortable under that blanket.

At 11 p.m., after an embarrassing wake-up call from Bryn, Doug went off to pick them up, and we headed home and to bed. The concert was terrific we were told.


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