Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Snippets on Ryan

Ryan is on holiday from school and has been spending some time with me in the office. Interestingly, my colleagues have noted that, compared to the last time they saw him, he is much more chatty and comfortable with strangers now. He had long conversations with my boss and by that, I don't mean just answering one-sided questions; there was a genuine to-and-fro going on between them. He went around the place saying hello to my colleagues and, when I had to go for a meeting, he sat quietly with my secretary and waited for me. He was polite and well-mannered - greeted everyone, said "nice to meet you" and "thank you for the biscuits". Everyone commented that he has blossomed into a really great kid. Makes the mother in me so happy to see him comfortable and confident.

This morning, as he awoke from his sleep, Ryan told me that he dreamed. This was the first time he had ever told me about his dreams. I've asked him a couple of times before and he always says he dreamed "nothing". So this was interesting - the fact that he realised that he dreamed a dream and recalled enough of it to be able to tell it to me. And what did he dream about? He dreamed about Mr Bean. Yes, Mr Bean has the honour of being in my son's dreams. Not Mama, not Papa. Mr Bean.

Ryan recounted his dream to me, but in his half-awake state, his sentences weren't coherent so I could only make out that Mr Bean was having one of his usual madcap and slapstick misadventures and that, at one point, Ryan held his palms up to Mr Bean and shouted, "Don't touch!" Ah, good stuff, good stuff.

We are making progress with Ryan's diet - we took a very tiny step forward last week when he agreed to eat half of a peanut butter wholemeal sandwich. It may not seem like much to most mummies, but in Ryan's world, it is a big deal. This is a boy who can distinguish a speck (yes, a SPECK!) of boiled chicken meat in his mouthful of noodles. He can separate the offending speck from the noodles (while everything is still in his mouth) before plucking it out with his fingers. After that, if he's feeling particularly offended, he will refuse the rest of the meal.

Methinks that this boy has the perfect skills to become a sommelier.

Ever since he graduated from his one-year Suzuki violin course, Ryan's schedule is quite open. He goes for 30 minutes of swimming on Sunday mornings and then he has Shichida in the afternoon. Apart from that, nothing else. We have no plans to send him for any "academic" enrichment classes. Nevertheless, we have been tossing around options for more physical exercise/sports. We also want to look into continuing his music lessons. We will keep our options open for a while more and decide next year. In the meantime, we'll be spending (more) time playing at home.

At home, we are not doing any regular academic learning activities. Unless Ryan has some Shichida homework to do, we prefer to let him spend time with his sister rather than do academic lessons. The two siblings are able and willing to play with each other now so we have this window for Ryan to learn to work things out, to learn patience and tolerance and understanding, to learn how each other's actions can affect the other, to learn how to stand up for himself in a way that is firm yet gentle, and so on and so forth. Babydoll loves to play with Ryan but she does challenge Ryan quite a bit so I think it is good for Ryan to use this opportunity to work out social parameters.

I'll write more about their sibling interaction later this week and share what our approach is when it comes to issues like sharing/snatching toys and pushing/rough play between the two of them.


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