some backstory: He has some severe gagging/vomiting problems. if he cries for more than a few minutes he gags and then throws up, has been this way since birth. if he laughs hysterically for more than a few minutes he gags and then throws up. again, since birth. so that's the backdrop.
now the discipline issue: he's started throwing tantrums lately and getting very upset over some things. here are a few examples:
1. if he drops something and it breaks (chalk, crayons, etc), he starts screaming crying because he's sad, not pissed...but he'll cry until he gets sick. ok this isn't so much a discipline thing, but just a sad thing.
2. he loves to draw. LOVES LOVES LOVES to draw. but lately he's taken to drawing on unacceptable surfaces. he's never done that before, really. like walls, furniture, etc. only with washable stuff so i'm not worried about the stuff being ruined, but the fact tha the does it when i REPEATEDLY tell him no. the obvious answer might be to remove the crayon/chalk, but he loves to draw SO much that it feels cruel to me. maybe i'm just a wimp. anyway, when i DO take it away he screams/cries until he throws up, basically.
3. this evening at dinner, he wanted to get down from his high chair and he started TRYING to vomit. he was making vomit noises and basically trying to force himself to throw up, saying "bucket bucket". he has now, obviously, made the connection that if he throws up we comfort him and take care of him and he's using it now. oy.
so...i don't want to just ignore him when he does throw up, and it breaks my heart when he does it especially because it's USUALLY not manipulative. it's a genuine esophogeal problem that he's had that he's now taking advantage of, as of tonight.
he has never really been a tantrummer (sp?) and he has never really been disobedient. or rather, he hasn't happened to come up with things to do until now that he wasn't allowed to. so when i try to tell him not to do something, he literally laughs at me. he just doesn't listen. this is only in the past two days....until then, he would be easily redirectable, etc.
so i want to nip this in the bud and i don't want him to learn that vomiting is a way to manipulate us, especially since sometimes it WILL be real and we might not know the difference, and we need to stay on top of his physical issues.
i'm sorry this was so long, but i'm really just at a loss here because he's just done a 180 in the past few days.
please give me some GD tips...i don't want to "spoil" him, but i am SUCH a softie with him that punishment just really sucks to me.
anyway...i welcome any and all suggestions. Thank you!!