Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Change and Growth

Yesterday evening Savanna and I, along with my two littles, went to visit my Very Pregnant sister, Dorcas.  That is, she is DUE TOMORROW.  We took dinner to her and had a lovely time, my children playing with her son.  This was actually my first time going to her house, which is shameful, since she's been there almost a year.  A year!  It seems there's always something going on, and it's difficult to get over there.  But I am determined to spend more time visiting my family!

The only photo evidence I have of the evening is several shots of Savanna trying to show Henry (2) how to juggle.  They had a marvelous time.

This is my favorite, although a trifle blurred.  
Who is Savanna?  I've gotten that question a few times.  Simply put, she is my unrelated sister and godmother to my children.  I'm trying to get Rowan to address her as, "Godmother Savanna," just because it amuses me so much.  You should read her blog here.

So today the kidlings and I went to my sister Melody's house to play--not with her children, who were in school, but with another niece and nephew of mine.  I have missed that so much!  We tried for a while to have all of us girls meet at Melody's on Fridays with our children, but Life Happened and we fell off of that.  I hope we can get something similar started again!

The only photo evidence of today's fun.  Yes, that's Henry, wearing the same shirt as yesterday.

Rowan and Henry had a blast playing with their cousins today, but the cousins they played with are ages two and almost two.  Which is fine for Henry, of course, but Rowan is accustomed to seeing Melody's children, who are closer to his age.  This might have contributed to the conversation we had on the way home:

Rowan:  "Mommy, I want to go to kindergarten."

My heart suddenly fell out of my chest.  We experimented with preschool last year, but the early hours led Rowan to request being taken out again.  I was more than happy to oblige.  Preschool actually caused Rowan to regress in his learning, rather than progress.  So to hear today that Rowan wanted to go back to school....

As calmly as I could, I asked, "Why do you want to go to kindergarten, Rowan?"

He replied, "So I can learn."

Ah.  That's the crux of the matter.  There is very little that kindergarten could teach Rowan, apart from how to sit still and be quiet, and that some children are cruel, especially to enthusiastic learners.  What he doesn't realize is that he is learning, and has been all his life.  He can read chapter books.  He can add and subtract and do basic multiplication, and is learning fractions.  He knows how to find Oregon on a map, and is learning to plot driving routes.  (He has a map of Oregon pinned to his bedroom wall, with a map of Salem on the back.  He has routes drawn in pen to the houses of all of his Oregon relatives.)  He knows almost all the rules of the road (and reminds me of them frequently).  He can bake a cake, with help.  He knows how to wash and dry laundry.  He is enthusiastic about learning to can fruit.  His vocabulary is more advanced than some adults I know.  When he asks something to which I don't know the answer, we find a How To video on YouTube.

What he lacks is companionship.  Rowan is a loner, like his mommy and daddy.  It's not that he doesn't want to have friends--he is actually terribly lonely, and tries to play with nearly every child he sees on the playground.  Some respond.  Some don't.  Some are viciously cruel, leading him to retreat and not approach anyone else for a few months.  He relates far better to adults.  His favorite people in the whole world, apart from Mommy and Daddy, are almost all adults--his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, his godmother.  I love being a favorite of my son, except for his desperate plea, All Day Long:  "Play trains with me!  Play trains with me!  Please, oh please, play trains with me!"  So I'll play with him for twenty minutes, then tell him I really must fold some laundry, and the cry goes up again:  'Please play trains with me!"  Every time he asks, it's like I haven't spent any time at all with him.  I really, really want to find him a companion his own age.

I asked him, today in the van, if he had a good time at Aunt Dita's last night and at Aunt Melly's today.  He said, "Yes."  I asked if he wanted to go to kindergarten to spend time with other children, and again the answer was yes.  So, I guess I need to find a child.  Rowan does NOT do well in large groups--or in small groups, for that matter.  He does best with just one or two other people.  Maybe I can find a homeschooling family around here that will let me borrow a child for a few hours once or twice a week.

In the meantime--well, I guess we'll play trains and watch YouTube videos.  And build with Legos.

Grandma instructing Rowan in how to play the accordion.

Apollo the Giraffe.  Don't look at the laundry--my children were happy!