I have really been struggling with my 3yo son lately. He's great most of the time, but there's a certain behavior that I really haven't come up with a good way to deal with. I wind up feeling miserable and crabby and not knowing what to do with myself while it's happening.
Here's an example. Lunch was winding down, dd, ds, and I were sitting at the table. Dd gave me a hug. Ds got up, came over and acted like he was going to give me a hug, then he went limp and sat down on the floor. Then he said, "I wanted to give you a hug, but you knocked me down." I offered him a hug, and he did it again. After a minute or two I got up and went to the kitchen to start cleaning up. He followed me saying that he wanted a hug, which I offered, but he wanted it sitting down (and I know if I sit down he will continue the same thing.) Then he started whining, and yelling about the hug, and then he hit me. I sent him to his bedroom where he continued to yell at me, but at least I had the physical space to work on cleaning the kitchen. In a couple minutes I told him he could come out of his room. He said something about the hug a couple times, but then settled in to sitting by me and drawing.
These episodes are common, and can last for a few minutes or half an hour. They pretty much always consist of him asking for something I'm happy to give and then saying he doesn't want it. I hate that I can't reason with him, distract him, or get him to change his behavior. I am unhappy throughout the episode, and I don't know what to do with myself. I can't really pretend it's not happening. In the example above, I would have enjoyed sitting at the table while they finished their lunch, except for what ds was doing. Once he's in that, I don't know if I should walk away from him, send him away from us, or what. How do you wait it out respectfully without it ruining everyone's afternoon?
Any ideas or tactics that work for you?