Permalink 12:59:07 pm, by Mary Email , 1197 words
Categories: Growing Up Ivan

The Banana Caper

"You did NOT just do that!" That was my response Sunday morning when Ivan shocked me by throwing his half-eaten, peel still attached, banana at our senior pastor. He hit him on the shoulder and left those little yellow specks of soft banana residue on his wool coat.

I was so embarrassed.

I had packed us each a banana that morning as we left for church at our usual time of 7:00 or a few minutes after. We typically pack granola bars but I only had two left and Kris usually eats two on his own. We leave early so that Kris can get up to the teachers prayer meeting by 7:40. As the nursery and children's ministry are not ready by that time, I take the boys to the church coffee shop and feed them a quick breakfast there. As mentioned, bananas were on the menu. I also purchased two muffins, a large hot chocolate to share and a coffee for myself. We split the muffins up so we each ate half and the sweet girls in the coffee shop divided our hot chocolate up into three cups, each with their own whipped topping and chocolate swirl and a swig of cold milk so they won't burn their tongues. The boys love going to the coffee shop, as you can imagine, and I am usually busy keeping the crumbs, spills and conversation from getting out of hand. They are good boys, but they are children and as children they have to be watched carefully. This is especially true in a predominately adult setting.

Sometimes though, no matter how closely I am watching, I cannot prevent bananas from flying through the air.

This Sunday, I saw Pastor Davis come into the coffee shop. This happens fairly frequently and he has on occasion come to our table to say hello. Not often though. In fact, this Sunday, I was hoping he wouldn't. It just seems that my boys find a way to act crazy when they see him. I don't like crazy...I like calm and control. Pastor likes kids though, and when he saw Ivan, who was the last of my boys to be at the table, finishing up his banana he took interest. He approached with a twinkle in his eye and said something like, "I'm gonna get that banana!"

I had been trying to get Ivan to finish so I took the opportunity to say teasingly, "Ivan, you better eat that banana or Pastor Davis is going to get it."

Ivan got excited. He doesn't usually handle excitement well, and this was no exception. His adoration of Pastor Davis and the fact that he was now getting attention from him was just too much for him to remain sane. He drew his shoulders in a little, as if he were scared, and then with a nervous giggle he threw that banana as hard as he could at Pastor Davis. My jaw hit the floor just seconds before the banana did. I saw it coming but there was no time to keep it from happening.

I cupped my hand over my mouth in utter shock. "You did NOT just do that!" I said. I wanted to yank him from his chair and force the ingested portion of that banana to fly through the air by sheer force of my hand against his rear end. I couldn't though. I was forced to stand still and assess the unexpected. This was not in the hand-book. "What to do in case your child throws a banana at your pastor" was not in any of the parenting books I've read. It's not even in the Bible.

Thankfully, Pastor Davis was very amused. I tried to remain calm as he bent over and picked up the offending fruit and handed it to me. I used the time it took to take a few steps to the trash receptacle and back to think of how to act. I apologized. I think. I used a serious tone to try to calm Ivan and then watched as Pastor laughed, walked over to Ivan, gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and then shook his head and walked away.

I was sure it was an act. I was sure he believed me to be a terrible parent. Unable to control my rambunctious five year old boy and probably not fit to be in a leadership role at church. What if he thinks Kris is a bad parent too? I wanted to defend myself soooooo bad. I didn't teach him this. I promise. I knew he was just being nice when he laughed. He's probably disgusted by us, I thought. I've brought shame on our family and I can't imagine he'll forget this any time soon.

Oh Ivan! Why did you do that? It was reminiscent of a story my dad loves to tell about when my brother was little. He had found a caterpillar in the church yard and stuffed it in his pocket before going inside for service. Of course caterpillars don't last long in such conditions and after service when my teasing uncle Moe bent down close to give my little brother a hard time, he reacted by jamming the soft and gooey remains of that prickly little caterpillar into my uncle's mouth. Yuck. It's become a funny story about the little guy scoring one on over-bearing adults, but in Ivan's case I couldn't laugh much. I was truly embarrassed.

I felt better last night though. We had ministry dinner and after our dinner and large group session, Pastor Davis asked all the adult teachers to meet with him in one of the class rooms. He shared what was on his heart and as things were coming to a close I realized he was going to tell the banana story. I hid my face and he acted surprised that I would be embarrassed.

He told the story as if it were his fault for instigating the flying banana. He blamed himself for causing Ivan to react and actually said he was impressed with Ivan and our parenting because Ivan acted so confident and sure of himself. He said, "he didn't act like he was going to be in trouble..."

"He WAS in trouble!" I interjected.

Everyone laughed and he continued to say, that Ivan was just reacting to a threat as he should have. "I asked for that banana and he gave it to me."

I made it clear that I was very embarrassed and that no matter how natural Ivan's reaction was, it was still inappropriate and was dealt with afterward. I was glad to hear his perspective on it, that his amusement was real and that he didn't think we were bad parents. And I was REALLY glad that I had the opportunity to respond.

Later he told us about his blender that he got for Christmas. It's the Will It Blend? blender and he's going to bring it to church tonight to show it to the congregation just for some fun. I piped up from the back of the room and asked, "Do you want me to bring any bananas?"


Permalink 02:36:24 pm, by Mary Email , 107 words
Categories: Growing Up Ivan


Ivan has become very excited about letters in the past month or so. I am so glad for the sudden interest.

As you can see...he is still figuring out the left to right thing but Kris and I were tickled that he used some of his play time last Saturday to arrange his Pick-Up-Sticks in the letters of his name.

He's been excited about identifying numbers and adding and subtracting as well. I love the way he describes the number 8. "ya know...that letter that looks like two threes stuck together but one is turned around?" Yeah...he has a ways to go, but he's fun to travel with.


Permalink 02:08:56 pm, by Mary Email , 186 words
Categories: Growing Up Ivan


Ivan began the summer with the observation that he likes curls. He has noticed how Aron's hair curls and he admires it. He asked me if his hair would curl and it does, but only selectively. I told him that it had to be long enough to begin with.

This was enough for him to beg me to allow him to grow his hair out so it would curl like Aron's. I assured him it would not be the same and I knew I was in for a lot of scruffy days but I allowed it. His hair is a totally different texture than Owen or Aron and when it is uncombed it really looks crazy, but it is such a beautiful blond and his bright eyes make up for a lot. I hope.

Anyway...I took a few pictures this weekend right after a nap. We have since trimmed it a bit.

I still allowed him to wear it a little long and the stylist at the barber shop styled it nicely for him yesterday. I think he was adorable.

He still is for that matter.


Permalink 03:37:51 pm, by Mary Email , 768 words
Categories: Growing Up Ivan

Stuff Ivan Says

The following quips and quotes are copied directly from my facebook posts over the past several months. Ivan has been my favorite subject as he is at an age of unbelievable insight. Enjoy!

February 23, 2010: In response to my constant begging for him to always stay little, Ivan (4) told me the other day that if I kiss him on the cheek, he'll stop growing. My pleasure!

March 13, 2010: Ivan (4): "Mom, to God we're small as mice, but not you. To God, you're like a cat...or something...a dog?"

March 29, 2010: Yesterday on the way to church Ivan (4) started talking about the trees and how much he likes them. He ended his little observation with this gem: "...when I grow up, I'm going to hug those trees." Oh Dear!

March 31, 2010: We had a babysitter last night and Ivan (4) told her (among other things) that I let him sleep without underwear. Why this is even something he wanted to do, I don't know, but thankfully, she didn't fall for it.

April 1, 2010: This morning I told the boys we are meeting some friends from FL tomorrow. The dad and mom are Chris and Christy. After explaining all the details of our plans, Ivan sat quietly for a minute then piped up with "I'm going to get mixed up with that mom and dad." He meant their names, but I pictured him having some sort of confrontation with them and it made me laugh.

April 9, 2010: Ivan was not pleased when he found out all the eggs from Easter were boiled. Still thinking I was doing this to irritate him he told me, "if you boil any more of my Easter eggs, I'm going to move to another house."

April 16, 2010: Owen and Ivan were playing with play money and I heard Ivan say..."It's magic money." Owen asked how it is magic and Ivan replied, "It disappears!" *** So that's what's been happening. I haven't been spending too much...I've been using magic money. Mystery solved.

April 23, 2010: Ivan (4): "Mommy, now I know that God is bigger than the sun, because God can bright the whole world and the sun can't!"

April 24, 2010: Mere moments after telling me that he didn't like any girls but me, Ivan saw a high school girl in her prom dress and announced: "When I get big, I'm going to get one like that."

April 26, 2010: After a brief conversation about my high school years where I admitted that my friends and I used to go around looking for boys, Ivan said in a very satisfactory tone: "And now, you found me."

May 11, 2010: Me: "Ivan, what do you want for lunch?" Ivan: "Macaroni and cheese!" Me: "We don't have any." Ivan: "Okay...what are the chooses?"

May 11, 2010: Must be I have boys: On the way home from picking Owen (6) up from school Ivan (4) says, "You know I'm smarter than you Owen," followed closely by Aron (2), "Well I'm bigger than you Ivan!"

May 11, 2010: Ivan (4) just told Kris: "Owen just had a dream that was almost against the law."

May 12, 2010: Ivan was upset with me for putting the flower he picked for me near the window where bad guys would break in and steal it. I told him bad guys don't steal flowers. He said, "Oh...yeah...bad GIRLS steal flowers."

May 14, 2010: Ivan was given an old TV remote to play with and was telling me what the buttons are for. "If you press the green one you can watch green shows...if you press the red one you get ketchup."

May 18, 2010: Ivan just brought me a Mrs. Potato head decked out in orange feet, big red lips, a monstrous oval red nose, blue glasses and a flowery visor and said, "It's you mom! You CAN keep that! And wherever you go...you can take it with you. It's just because I love you."

June 5, 2010: Ivan wanted to know if the little packages on the tables were mints and when I opened them up and they were he said, "Yep, they are cements." Owen couldn't stop laughing long enough to eat his.

June 10, 2010: Ivan (4) was supposed to be napping today but somehow through the aid of his big brother he managed to make a silly band trade with the neighbor boy. He announced to me as he was getting out of his bed that he won't be putting this one in his mouth because said neighbor boy was wearing it. Then he topped it with this...: "Mom, everyone has a different smell."

July 12, 2010: Ivan prayed aloud for his brothers and cousins at bedtime tonight as he loves to do. Tonight he added this: "and God please make me a superhero when I get big. Amen."


Permalink 10:50:21 am, by Mary Email , 323 words
Categories: Growing Up Ivan

More About Ivan

(on Aron liking peanut butter and jelly) "That's good because we're eating it."

(on death and dying) "When I get to be as old as Reubmommy (his great-grandmother who passed away in September at 95), I AM going to die."

(on things that look like hockey sticks) "This looks like a snow hitter."

Ivan is becoming more and more the clever one among the boys. He is sarcastic at times, he quietly creates humor and sits back to watch us react. He is quiet in his observations and loud in his expressions. He is the more serious of the three, and yet the one we have to watch closely for mischief.

I always enjoy listening to him play. He uses stuffed animals as characters and he and Aron both will make voices and emotions for each one. Creating stories and scenarios where they can interact with the characters they create.

Ivan is becoming interested in numbers and letters more and more of late. He has been stubbornly against me teaching him these things in the past, but has since realized their importance and wants to understand the sounds and values.

He is adaptable between his brothers. Being the middle child he plays well with both Owen and Aron but usually makes the choice to play with Owen when they are all three together. What still amazes me is how well he plays alone. He is never lonely or bored, as he is most satisfied to have toys and situations completely subject to his ideals.

His love of puzzles and games is still strong and we are often surprised by what he is able to build or create. He hears and sees the details in things and I enjoy getting his take on a song or a picture. He may not care about the grand subject of the material, but he will tell me that the smallest character or note is having a good time.

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