You Happy Now

Ivan is talking. I mean non-stop! He took so long to really get in on the conversation but now he’s quite the communicator. He doesn’t get all of it and is still difficult to understand on occasion but most of the time I can tell what he wants or needs. Just now he was calling me saying…”mommy! aiger! mommy! aiger!” I said “tiger?” and he said “no aiger!” I stood up to see what he was referring to and he had a book with a picture of an alligator. So he was saying alligator.

Yesterday we were in the van on the way to Home Depot. I stopped at the traffic light and waited for it to turn green. I heard Ivan from the back saying…”why you top? why you top?” with his brow all furrowed. I explained that I stopped because when the light is red you are supposed to stop and let the other cars have a turn. “Oh” was his reply. I sat there and looked at him a few seconds and thought, how many times I had seen that furrowed brow but no question with it. It’s amazing how language can unlock doors for you.

This afternoon he picked up a toy that Aron dropped and as he handed it back to him he exclaimed in a very mommy like tone, “you happy now.” How similar he must feel to have a way to express himself beyond tears, points, grunts and raised eyebrows. You happy now Ivan?

The Way Ivan Sees It

I doubt that he will remember much about our trip to Florida and New Orleans but I enjoyed his perspective on all that he took in. At two and about 5 months Ivan is becoming very animated and fun to be around. His vocabulary is growing daily and I am understanding much more. He prays at bedtime and at dinner by repeating what we say and he pronounces almost all the syllables. He is slowly but surely relinquishing screams of frustration for words of request for help. He is becoming a big boy and I am enjoying it.

Today for the first time we are wearing big boy underwear. We have yet to make it to the potty but it’s only day one. He has seven pair of Elmo underwear that he picked out himself on Saturday. He is on pair number four right now.

He cracks us up in the car with his observations and the way he is insistent on what is happening around him. When he sees a train track he insists there is a train coming and will holler “Choo-choo” for a good 5 minutes. It’s too hard to describe the sound of his choo-choo. It sounds like a sick dog or something.

He loves doing whatever Owen is doing and if Owen laughs at him it is the biggest joy to him. He loves to please his big brother. He is also his own person in that if he strongly disagrees with Owen he will not bend. His will is strong and he is happy to play on his own if he cannot convince Owen to do what he’s doing.

I Hee it!

Ivan loves to point out the train tracks, or cain cacks as he refers to them. Saturday morning was no exception as we drove through Lakewood en route to Hendersonville to pick up Owen. He shouted from behind me, “Cain Cacks!” then as we crossed them he noticed where the tracks reappeared on the other side of a building on the other side of the road. “I hee it mommy! I hee it!” I acknowledged his discovery and said, “Yes, I see it too. I want you to say, ssssee it. SSSSS. I see it.”

There was a pause and I said again. “I see it.”

He quickly responded, “I hee it too.”

Oh well.

Full Sentences

He is still painfully hard to understand, but Ivan has officially graduated to full sentences in the last few weeks. Just a moment ago he came sliding down the stairs after his little Buzz Lightyear action figure. He grabbed the wayward toy and then turned to me. “Moey, Bu ah gow kar.” Which translates to “Mommy, Buzz fall down stairs.” That’s about the longest grouping of words I’ve heard him use. I’m finally noticing some patterns too. Like all “T” words start with the “K” sound…Train Tracks are Kane Kacks. All “S” and “F” words start with the “H” sound…Hello Sunshine is Hewo Hunhine, and Frog is Hog. All “D” words start with the “G” sound… Doggy is Goggy. This really does help me to understand him and though I don’t want to encourage the misuse of the sounds I do want to know what he’s saying. I usually repeat back to him what I think he said until I get it right and then he gets so excited. He wants so badly to be understood. Sweet little guy.

Character

Ivan has developed a character trait that annoys me. It’s that stubborn refusal to do what is asked simply because it is asked. He will do what I demand, but not what I ask. Yesterday, I asked him if he wanted to take something to Aron’s room. He said no. I quickly rephrased and told him to take it to Aron’s room which he did without question. The rough part is when it’s something silly like making his motorcycle motion. It’s the cutest thing when he is headed somewhere and decides to ride his pretend motorcycle. He will put his hands up like they are on handlebars and make the vroom sound as he runs to his destination. Can I get him to do this so I can get a picture…no…of course not. Grrrr.

So…I’ll take pictures of what I can and share them with you but you will not get to see his motorcycle unless he happens to take a ride when I already have the camera on.

This morning he came down stairs to tell me that Aron was awake. “Baey ake” sounds a lot like belly ache but as I could hear the crying upstairs I knew what he meant. He loves it when I understand him. If I repeat back what he’s saying, he smiles and gets excited. If I say something different than what he’s trying to say, he frowns and shakes his head violently. “NO!” We’re getting there.

There is a particular toy that Owen wants and can’t afford. We encouraged him to pick out some toys to sell at LaDonna’s consignment sale to earn money toward the toy he wants. So…we have set these toys aside and suddenly they are the most popular toys in the house. I had to put a blanket over them to keep the eager hands from playing with them. After instructing the boys that the toys were to stay under the blanket I found Ivan like this:

“Hit Me”

Ivan has been putting more words together. Just this morning he has expressed himself with “Hit me” meaning Owen hit me, twice. I’m not anxious for him to tattle on his brother but it does help me to know why he’s crying. I think Owen has gotten away with a lot because Ivan couldn’t express what was happening.

Here are a few of the things he’s been saying much more clearly lately:
More pease – more please
mik – milk
Gat, gat, gat, gat, – God is great, and God is good.
Baey Cying – Baby Crying
Wackis – Watch This
Hug – Hug
Woey – Woody
Bu Ier – Buzz Lightyear
Oo iiee ah neon – To infinity and beyond
Hone – Phone
aipane – airplane (as he is pointing out in the picture)

He’s really entered that two year phase with his play and expression as well. Just as I remember Owen becoming so much more boyish at two I see it in Ivan as well. He’s making more noise, running into things head first, using sound effects, making guns with his fingers and toppling anything in his way…because that’s what boys do.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed learning about the dynamic of brotherhood is that brothers apologize differently than sisters. When I make them tell each other they are sorry, they immediately get mischievous grins on their faces and hug each other, only to use this position as a means to tackle each other to the ground in a pile of growls and giggles. This is apparently a ritual that brothers do as a sign of love and acceptance of one another. I try to make them apologize to each other for any little thing I can just so I can watch this happen.

Ivan is still climbing on the baby to comfort him and though it’s counterproductive he insists that this form of affection is the necessary means to make the baby stop “cying.”

Buds and Brothers

Ivan has finally produced the buds for his canine teeth. His week of runny nose and occasional fever were probably more of an indication of his teeth than a virus I am realizing.

Ivan is the middle child and as such is constantly at war with his desire to hang with big brother Owen or cuddle with little brother Aron. He will, I think, be best friends with little brother as they seem to light each other up when they catch each others eye. It’s pretty amazing how Ivan can be so rough with him at times and still produce such a gleam when he gets down to talk to him.

Ivan’s vocabulary is growing and he seems to be more and more clear every day. Yes, he is still difficult to understand but it’s amazing what I am catching in his garbled tongue.

This morning, Owen came running to me with this bit of news: “Mommy, Ivan is taking off his diaper and pee came out.” It would seem that Ivan had pulled his diaper away so that he could pee outside of it instead of in. I really think he’s ready to begin potty training but I can’t express to you how much I don’t want to get started. Mommy is going to have to face facts and get on with it. Ugh!

My Little Parrot

Owen: Mommy, watch this!

Ivan: Maey, waa di!

Owen: Mommy, can I watch cars today?

Ivan: Maey, waa car day?

Ivan has been repeating things, trying to tell me things and becoming more and more articulate. As you can see by my attempt to spell his utterances, he is still difficult to understand, and I don’t always know what he wants or needs, but he’s definitely improving and becoming more brave with his communication. Yesterday, he came running to me, grabbed my hand and tried to pull me away from the sink as he was yelling…”baey cry! baey cry!” He was trying to get me to pick up Aron who was crying in the other room.

What tickles me is his attempts to repeat what Owen says. Like a little echo after Owen speaks his words bounce right back and insist that we listen.

Decorating Cookies

Owen and Ivan got to decorate cookies tonight. We picked up these sugar cookies for about 1/2 price at Publix earlier today and decided it would be a fun thing to do. They donned their new aprons made by Tisra (so adorable) and started in. Ivan took a bite of the cookie before he ever got a tube of icing open. He would decorate, then eat, then decorate then eat. A two year old’s dream. Owen was a bit more careful, making his cookie look as much like a Christmas tree as his little hands were capable of. He was not so in love with his work that he hesitated to eat it. He smiled and held it up for the camera and then ate it. He made one for his daddy and his granddaddy too.