He is being...for lack of better terms, a total punk. He is challenging every single thing I say and tell him to do. And that is when he is not just ignoring me outright. He is not doing anything major, but all day long, little things just add up and by the end of the day I am D.O.N.E. I tell him it is time to get dressed and he tells me no and proceeds to run in the other direction so I have to chase him. I tell him it is time to go to his doctor's appointment so he needs to pick up his room and he just blatantly ignores me. We get out of the car at the appointment and I tell him to please not jump in the puddles because he doesn't have his boots on. Not only does he jump in them anyway, but he runs next to me and jumps in one as close to me as possible so that he splashes me in the process of ignoring what I just told him. I tell him it's time to sit down for dinner and he goes into his bedroom and dumps a bucket of his toys on the floor after declaring, "I not ready right now. You wait until I ready." When sitting on the toilet he reaches over to his shower curtain and pulls another button off of it (this is after doing it last night and being told in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable).
That was the last straw. I actually raised my voice at him, which I never do (mostly because he used to be the kid that if you looked at him cross eyes he curled up in the corner and cried because he was so upset) and I took him off the toilet and practically threw him back in his bed. When I finally went in to talk to him I asked him why, after I blatantly had told him last night to not rip off the buttons, he had done it again.
"I was trying to bug Rudy," (our cat) he tells me.
This seems to happen every six months or so. He starts to push every single boundary that exists for him and I have to spend a couple of weeks feeling like a drill Sargent and a horrible Mommy but then he realizes that he does have to live within the boundaries I provide for him. Then he goes back to being his generally sweet self. Rinse and repeat a few months later.
I don't know if this is because he is in the process of switching schools. Or I don't know if it is because his sister is starting to get a lot of attention now (when we go out now many people stop us and tell us how cute she is without mentioning The Boy at all--people respond to babies...you can't help that). I don't know if this is just an age appropriate part of growing up and learning to be independent and learning the the entire world does not revolve around him 24/7. I really don't know what it is.
But I am tired of it and I want it to stop. I have tried to give major love and reinforcement when he is being good to show him that he gets attention for THAT behavior. I have tried explaining the reasoning behind all of the decisions that I am making for him (eg: We have to pick up our toys now because we have to leave to make it to your doctor's appointment on time). I have tried carving out special time to spend just with him in an effort to make him feel like Mommy still has time just for him even though his sister is here all the time. I don't know what else to do except stick to my guns and keep those boundaries strong. It is exhausting to be consistent and to follow through when you tell them something. It takes a lot of work. But it is necessary. If I don't do that I am fully aware that I will have an out of control child in the future. But really...I am tired, and I really just want to enjoy my child again. The holidays are coming and I would love for us to be able to enjoy them instead of spending the time being frustrated and annoyed.
So universe...if you are listening...how about toning it down a little bit where the small boy child is concerned? That would be great, thanks.