Okay... I'm not complaining and I'm not attempting to gain sympathy from anyone... but I have to write this down, because I don't want to forget the ups and downs. Perspective is everything, right?
Right now, Lucas is insane. It seems when he hit three and a half, things really smoothed out with behavior, temperament and predictability. I reached a place as a parent where I thought: "I got this." It was nice, because for the first time I really felt like my child and I had a "working relationship".
I'm throwing all of that out the window.
What we're dealing with here is blatant disrespect, angry outbursts, defiance, aggressive behavior...sassy talk, arguing and a serious attitude problem. Need I go on? Seriously you guys... I feel like the sweet child I wrote about here is hiding in the shadows, because the current child has bullied him into the corner.
For a little perspective, I am taking into consideration the fact that we're traveling. With that comes boredom, loneliness and a general upset in routine. Lucas is a routine kid and though he is flexible, he as always thrived on predictable routine (this is actually true for all children/human beings). We've upset the balance and changed housing twice in two weeks. We've stayed in hotels. We've been trapped indoors with rain and significantly less activity than normal. We've been stuck together for nearly three weeks... no distractions, no friends. Bleh.
Another factor is that I'm rearing a boy. As he ages, I can't help but notice a toughness building in him. I seriously struggle with the loss of his baby boyness. Oh my sweet baby boy... he's turning into a big boy who resists snuggling on the couch, holding my hand and willfully doing as he's told with a trusting heart. This boy is attempting independence and it's kills me.
It's a natural process, but for those of us who a little bit more self-aware it's evident what's going on here.
So here we are. If history proves itself, Lucas will wind down and have a time of softness again. He'll be compliant and obedient and I'll think "I got this" again. We go in two week cycles, and we're nearing the end of this naughty cycle. I know we'll get back to a place where things feel easy and we get along great. We can do activities side by side (like Legos!) without it being combative or argumentative.
Now if I can just keep it together in the meantime.