The last few days, Cooper has been getting over being sick, so I can cut him some slack, but the last couple weeks have been AWFUL. It seems like suddenly he's always either pissed off and crying and throwing tantrums, or testing to see how far he can push the rules. Lately he's picked up the habit of looking right at me when I tell him not to do something, and doing it anyway. Last night it was kicking the table while we were eating. He was pushing the lightweight table out from under us, and I repeatedly asked him and then told him to stop. He did it anyway. Over and over. Even after a timeout. Finally we sent him to his bed while we finished eating and he didn't get dessert.
When we let him up for cuddle time and let him color, he drew on himself, and when I told him not to, he threw the pen at my face. The other day he hit me in the store and threw a HUGE tantrum because he wanted the cart from outside, that was covered in snow, and I got one from inside instead. I put him in timeout right there at the store, and he threw his head back against the wall and started kicking, and some woman felt the need to approach me and tell me how abusive I was being to him. Sigh. We have never had issues like this before. It's not just with me, either. He's being weird to Brandon. He will randomly decide he wants nothing to do with him. He'll ask me to get him something, and if Brandon gets it instead, Cooper throws it aside and says no, and that he doesn't want it. This morning Brandon was already out of bed and headed to the kitchen, so when Cooper asked me for milk I asked Brandon to grab it while I read with Cooper in bed, and Cooper HID THE CUP from him and said no.
Brandon's been bringing us home snacks and treats from work, and Cooper has started throwing fits when it's not what he wanted or when he has to eat some dinner first.
He's not that way all the time. He's just in timeout so much more often now, and it makes me feel like an asshole. After trial and error I know that if I give him more leeway with the rules he just behaves worse, so we're not giving in anymore. It just sucks. For everyone. He's clearly not happy when he's acting this way, and he's driving us up the wall because we don't know what to do except keep enforcing the rules and rewarding good behavior until he gets back in the rhythm of things.
I think part of the problem is lack of stimulation. It's hard to play at the park when everything is covered in snow, and when I've taken him out to play in the snow he gets frustrated and cold after a few minutes. If we were in Boise I would have so much more access to indoor activities. He has little friends there he could have playdates with, family to visit, the aquarium and zoo, which are all on bus routes. The bus system in Nampa is awful. Once we have a car we will only be home a couple days a week. Cooper and I will spend most days in Boise, since we'll be running Brandon to work most days and then picking him up. I can't wait to move back there. I love this house, but it will be nice to be close to the people and places we love, away from the Aryan Nation neighbors. I'm also looking forward to finding something with air conditioning, a fenced yard, and a dishwasher. Washer and dryer hook-ups or a washer and dryer in the home would be nice, too, but I'd be ok with taking my laundry elsewhere.