Well . . . "hops" might be an overstatement. After we had talked all week about "riding Thomas," I don't think the Amtrak that came whistling and roaring into our local station on July 4 was quite what Zoomie had envisioned in his little two-year-old head.
Yeah, scratch "hops." When Zoomie, Bootsie, and I climbed aboard the Missouri River Runner at 12:46 p.m., he pretty well had a death grip on my neck and was trying to climb me like a tree.
But all was well once we were aboard and seated and got out the Fruit Loops. The thirty-four-minute train ride would take us thirty miles down the road--er, track--toward the kids' home. The plan was that Pa-pa would meet us at the next station in the van, we would grab a quick lunch, and it would be nap time all the way to Topeka.
For a little boy who loves trains, I hoped that this train ride, a slightly-late second-birthday present, would be a dream come true. Here, you can see he was feeling no pain. (The protruding tongue is what happens when, prior to picture-snapping, I say, "Where's your happy face?")
I am happy to report that our plans stayed pretty well on track with only one major derailment that involved a major diaper "event" after lunch at McDonald's. I won't go into detail, except to say that during the course of diapering two children and six grandkids, I have never had an experience quite so--well, let's just say--comprehensive, and leave it at that. (I apologize for the fact that I was preoccupied and therefore unable to document with a photo here.)
Just how memorable this event was is evident even today when Zoomie himself recalls our train ride. Inevitably, when asked about the train, he will also mention the "beed poop."
I may be able to talk about it myself some day after the therapy sessions have ended and the McDonalds' lawsuit has been settled. Meanwhile, I will take comfort in the certainty that Zoomie's birthday train ride will have a permanent place in the Annals of Googiedom.