Something special was in order for our Tuesday, in addition to the already special morning which consisted of a living room FULL of construction paper hearts cut out for me by Charlie, Wes, and Ryan, cards all around, special coffee, flowers, and a box of candy on the driver's seat of my car, so when Charlie asked if we could go ride a train, I planned a super-secret trip downtown on the commuter train and secretly invited my dad to join us.
The kids got into the car with no idea where we were going. I asked for guesses.
"Are we going to the playground?"
"Are we going to see a statue?"
"Are we going to climb on rocks?"
No, no, and no. They were cautiously very excited when I turned into the parking lot for the train station. There were several minutes of silence while I looked for a parking spot. Then Charlie piped up.
Can we ride the train?!
YES! I told them. They were very happy. We bought our tickets and boarded the waiting train. My dad arrived shortly after and hopped onto the train with about a minute to spare. He is a seasoned "T" rider from way back and I had no worries.
The train ride was uneventful if you don't count James's refusal to be held in any kind of safe position for the duration of the ride or the fact that he chose to communicate using only frequent blood-curdling screeches that had many a commuter slamming his laptop in frustration. The big kids sat nicely in their seats and made cute (and appropriate!) comments about what they saw out the window. James did his best to perform an alligator's death roll in my arms as I struggled to keep him from sliding the length of the car at every station. On the plus side, I will not need to work out my arms anytime soon.
We arrived downtown and found a potty without incident then set off to find some lunch. I was headed for my favorite little brunch place when I spotted this sign and decided I could have huevos rancheros another time.
We had some enormous hotdogs (mine had horseradish slaw on top, my dad's had onions and baked beans, the big kids? Mustard. Boring!) and bacon chocolate chip cookies, which sounded amazing but were really kind of strange until about the third bite when I started getting used to it.
Then we walked around outside for a little while until the next train home. Charlie demanded to have his picture taken in several strange places. This one is my favorite.
But this one is my new desktop.
We got on the next train home and, impossibly, James's behavior was even worse than the ride down. He really upped the ante by pooping THREE TIMES during the forty-five minute train ride, requiring as many diaper changes on the train floor (no bathroom!), which was really not as much fun as it sounds. He and Wes were asleep when we got home and Charlie and I set to work making Valentine's cupcakes for after our Chinese food feast. A great Valentine's Day!