Friday, March 18, 2016

Rowan, Age 7

Rowan is my first child.  Or my third child, depending on how you look at it.  He's third in order of age, but the first one I gave birth to myself.  Blended families are complicated when it comes to figuring out number order.  In any case, Rowan is seven.  He is bright as a button and smart as a whip, and he adores his elder brothers and their friends.

Rowan also has a stubborn streak a mile wide, and lately he has begun to assert his independence.  He's been saying things like, "I don't have to," and "You can't tell me to do that," and "You're not the boss of me!"  Oh my.  I haven't been letting him get away with it.  There's been lots of, "Excuse me, young man?" and "Would you care to repeat that again?" and "As long as you are living in a house that Mommy and Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa are paying for, eating food that we buy with money that Daddy works hard for, wearing clothes that we bought for you, you are not in charge and you don't get to make that decision."  We do try to be reasonable and discuss options when it's not a vitally pressing matter.

Rowan's latest interest is watching marble videos on YouTube, particularly the Wintergatan Marble Machine, the Epic Christmas Marble Run, and the ROBLOX Mega Marble Run Pit by EthanGamerTV.  That last one inspired him to create his own explanatory video yesterday.  We were playing in the backyard when suddenly he said, "Mommy, I'm going to make a YouTube video.  You need to video me."  I obliged him by taking out my iPhone.  The results were hilarious, and, I thought, pretty darn good for a 7-year-old making a video for the first time.  He did have to chide his camerawoman a few times when she didn't immediately catch what he wanted her to do.

Note: does not actually exist (yet).  Rowan just thought it sounded cool.

He's something, that Rowan.  He is simultaneously supremely confident and insecure.  He will brag and show off like nobody's business, but put him in front of an audience under pressure and he will curl up in Mommy's lap, hiding his face.  He loves to play with other kids.  He loves to stay home and play alone.  He only wants to play games EVER, Mom!  and he devours chapter books like a starving man.  We're currently rereading Ozma of Oz, the third book in the Oz series.

Last night I sent him upstairs to take a shower before bed.  When five minutes had passed and I didn't hear water running, I went to investigate.  I found him standing on the shower bench, which had been parked in front of the sink, stark naked, with the mirrored doors of the medicine cabinet angled to reflect himself countless times.  He was dancing and shaking his booty.

"Rowan," I said, "what do you think you're doing?"

"I just like to look at myself, Mommy," he said.  He got down and hopped in the shower.  When he was done, he toweled off and swaggered to his room.  Oh, he's got the swagger and the strut down, alright.  I'm not sure where he got that.  I don't think I've ever been that body-confident in my life.

There were tears yesterday.  There was conflict--a lot of it.  There were headaches and frustration.  I wondered, as I wonder every day, if he will ever get it.  But as we snuggled up to go to sleep, he leaned over to kiss me and whispered, "I love you, Mommy."  Somehow, that makes it all worth it.

That's my boy.