Ivan is coming out of his threes beautifully. I am still stumped on some days, as to what it will take to convince him of how important it is to stop what he’s doing in order to go to the bathroom. I have been frustrated beyond words in some instances. It will seem as if he is perfectly on top of it and then we’ll have a day or two where if I do not MAKE him go, he will wet his pants continuously. I cannot give an accurate list of events or tell you what has transpired on those day specifically but I am confident, none the less, that his stress level is directly related to the amount of dirty Lightning McQueen and Elmo underwear in the laundry.

I have been studying him for over year now in hopes of conquering the puzzle that is Ivan’s thought process. I told Kris last week that I think he feels the need to complete things before he can move away from them. For instance…if he sees the potential for a perfect loop he can build with his toy train tracks, no matter how badly he has to go potty he cannot emotionally leave that train track. It would be like allowing the train to crash in his mind…disaster…so going to the bathroom has to wait. Yesterday during the morning church service Pastor Davis was talking about the functions of the different lobes in the brain. He quickly described them as it was not the total point of his sermon, but one of them is much like what I described in Ivan. Pastor said that some kids cannot leave their video games or the activity they are in because it is not complete and they are unable to CHANGE what they are doing. It is not so much a matter of finishing what he is doing, he simply cannot make the CHANGE in his brain activity to go to the bathroom. Understanding it all is part of the victory I suppose. I will continue to work with what I know and what I learn. Ivan has made me much smarter.

Despite the continuing potty issues, he is coming into his own in so many other ways. His desire to sit down and learn letters and numbers has become more evident and his joy in recognizing the letter “I” specifically is a new passion for him. He and Aron get along pretty well. They often do their own thing but seem to have developed a bond of late that keeps them on the same “team” during toddler type hardships.

He seems to be stepping away from his obstinate nature, or at least realizing more accurately when it is appropriate. I would never wish it to be gone completely. I love a stubbornness toward what is right and wrong. May that never leave him. I cannot promise that he will act on what I want every time, but I see that he is understanding more and more the joy in cooperation and pleasing others.

He has always been affectionate, responsive to touch and needy for a counter and positive attention to negative things like spanking. Owen will leave a discipline with a desire to leave it behind completely, learn the lesson and move on. Ivan has been the one who will carry the weight of his misfortune much longer and has come to me to sit in my lap and confess that he got a spanking from daddy hours earlier in hopes of getting the counter hug and comfort from me. I know that Kris always hugs the boys after spanking them so I think he just digests those punishments longer and needs more attention to overcome his own feelings about it. Whether it’s guilt, shame, misfortune or completely unfair in his mind, he simply tells us that it makes him sad.

Lately he has been more expressive in his desire for affection whether he is happy or sad. He just wants to be loved and has learned to ask for it unashamedly. I love that. There are a few people at church that he will run to when he sees them and is eager to hug and even kiss them when he sees them.

I need to begin a new list of quotes for him and post them here soon. I related his reaction to the Amish men surrounding us at his great-grandmother’s funeral on my blog. So I won’t tell it again here but I will say that I love realizing what his raised eyebrows mean when he speaks up his concern, surprise or delight. The facial reaction is always first and sometimes the only indication of what he is thinking. When he verbalizes what the reaction has meant I am always delighted.