My little boy goes to school! It’s called jardin here in Cusco. 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. Our neighbor took us there and helped us to avoid the 200 sole registration fee. It’s 400 soles for the month and includes snacks. Although, last week, the teachers told me Ryder tries to eat everyone else’s food and asks for more so I’ve just paid 40 soles so he can also have lunch. Those who know Ryder, this will not surprise you. Since he was a baby, he’s begged food off of strangers.
Pretty much sure: Ryder is left-handed.
His favorite food is chicken. It’s even his first Spanish word-beyond hola and gracias that is. He likes hamburgers too, and French fries. In general, he doesn’t prefer fish-so we share dishes well.
His favorite vegetable is carrots. He requests a carrot soup I made with coconut milk regularly, except he doesn’t realize just yet I never make the same dish twice, so he hasn’t gotten that again.
His schedule has changed radically since starting school. Now he wakes at the crack of dawn and goes to bed by 7:30 pm. He wakes me by shouting, “It’s hot outside! It’s sunny! Time to get up! I want breakfast!” And at twilight he says, “There’s not sun anymore.”
When we walk to school, he usually insists on plucking a weed flower for me. Sometimes he’s not strong enough, so I have to pick it, give it to him, and then he gives it back. “I want to get a flower for you!” he’ll announce.
Every day he says the same thing: “I won’t cry at school Mama! I stopped crying!” because indeed the first week or two were rather heart-wrenching, though now he loves it. He used to say in the most touching way, “but I want my mama.” He also says, “Wonder what we’re going to eat at school. Maybe spaghetti!” He also loves to talk about Liam and Raphaela, the kids whose names have stuck the most. Liam and he are best friends, surviving a bite attack has not seemed to dampen the friendship (Ryder was apparently aggressively grabbing his arm and Liam bit to release).
The school is entirely in Spanish. Ryder is not speaking in Spanish yet, though he seems to understand more and more.
He enjoys church and has a friend there named Brando. Rather than rolling the r, Ryder calls him Blando. It’s quite adorable.
He still loves going to the park, swinging, and singing his favorite songs. He has built up quite a repertoire:
Old McDonald, Farmer in the Dell, Twinkle Twinkle, ABCs, The Rainbow Song, Shoe Fly, I Love the Mountains, The Wise Man and the Foolish Man, Eensy Weensy Spider, One Bottle of Pop, This Old Man, Roll Over, If You’re Happy and You Know It, Row Row Row Your Boat, Daddy’s Homecoming, Jingle Bells, and I Feel Like A Morning Star.
Ryder is potty trained except in the night. He aspires to be fully, saying every day, “Don’t go pee pee in your pants, get a surprise egg!” But though the motivation is there, the bladder control doesn’t seem to be.
The school had a rather adorable day where the children dressed up as animals, I didn’t get the memo, seemingly the only downside to be the only gringos in the school is the language barrier.
Ryder loves all animals, though he is reasonably intimidated by all the stray dogs here ( I am too. One drooling, snarling one followed me for a bit on the way home last week!) He picked out the lion hat himself.
Ryder likes to share his food. And he doesn’t take no for an answer.
If there’s one character quality that I admire most about him, it’s how brave he is. Examples:
-He didn’t cry when he got his yellow fever vaccine. He literally said, ‘It was just a pinch, Mom.”
-He loves to ride roller coasters with his Dad.
-He goes to a school where he doesn’t speak the language and comes out smiling and with friends.
Ryder is a little mini Jacob in a lot of ways. But Ryder and I are best buds too.