Apparently the age of four was just a blur of countries (about 16 of them). Now Ryder is five years old, and living a life of routine. Mostly. He was attending a Montessori school, but was admitted to the German international school. His teacher, who knew him from the last time we were in Cape Town, had this to say about him:

Ryder enjoys art activities and he is able to manipulate all art mediums very well. He is an active participant during music ring.

He can rote count to 50 during circle time. He can identify numerals 0-30.

His vocabulary is well developed. He has shown interest in learning letter sounds. He can write his name. He enjoys sharing news and show and tell.

Ryder has good balance and coordination. He is active during outside time. He loves to climb the jungle gym.

His eye/hand is good. He has a correct pencil grip. His cutting skills are developing. His visual discrimination is good. He is able to build a tower with correct graduation. Ryder can concentrate on a task for a long period. He is able to follow instructions.

Ryder has grown in confidence, is emotionally secure and is well liked by his peers. He is a pleasant and friendly boy.

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Now he is in the German environment. He has to be brave again: new teacher, new kids, new language. He did love Germany and his old school and speaks of our time there fondly, actually he tells people Germany is his favorite country, and he is from there, so that helps to build a foundation. He is signed up for gymnastics, playball, and soccer, and is starting German tutoring twice a week. His life, like those of his parents, is full and active here in Cape Town. He is invited to two different birthday parties in the next month. That is a change; over the course of his past five years I think he only went to one!

He is growing in independence. He likes taking the bus card to scan it himself. Although he drags in the morning, and resists my telling him hurry! hurry! he will dress himself. He likes to have scrambled eggs, haloumi cheese, peanut butter on bread, and double cream yogurt with fruit for breakfast. For dinner some of his favorite meals have been chicken fajitas, chicken enchiladas, and spaghetti. He likes vegetables too; among his favorites are cucumbers and broccoli and carrots and snap peas. He likes apples, oranges, and strawberries as fruit, but his most special treat is kiwi. On weekends he enjoys baking desserts with me and attending the Unitarian Church or the Quakers. We also regularly go to the aquarium or to feed the squirrels in Company Gardens. Traditions, rituals, that’s what we are building here.

Ryder says…”Maybe I am Spiderman!” and demonstrates how far he can jump.IMG_3453

He loves Club V at the gym. He always climbs the wall after we finish and then walks along the upper ledge and has me help him jump down.

His favorite shirt is his “Rex and Roll” Trex with guitar red and black shirt.

He loves having us come to watch his activities at school because “we are proud of him”.

He is a sweet boy on the serious side. He does not like to be laughed at, wants to be treated with respect and likes to have everything explained to him logically. He does not bully or treat kids unkindly and will tell people “don’t speak that way to my sister.” He is shy when strangers speak with him and slower to warm up than some kids, but always can make friends. He is very affectionate and cuddly with us, gives me weed flowers every day, and saves them as bouquets for me.

So yes, he is right: we are proud of him.

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