Thanks for your thoughts.
Just to clarify a couple of things:
Not talking regular rowdiness. Sadly, I was referring to hurtful and hands-down-inappropriate behavior. When I choose to leave the room to show that this kind of behavior drives people away, he frantically rushes after me, shaking and sobbing, "Sorry, Mama, Sorry...," but I don't think he's actually learning anything other than what it looks like to panic. And I don't think it's an act, either. Some have suggested he's just manipulating my "weakness," but I strongly disagree. He is also old enough (and big/strong enough!) that I don't rely on restraining him; there isn't a way to confine him in one part of the room or in a high chair, etc.
I guess I am just tired. His behavior has really been getting to me lately because I have really been mourning my "lost" me/career time and I keep thinking, "I gave all that up to raise THIS?!" The idea was that he was supposed to be perfect
after all this work. Sometimes I am nursing ds2 or actually getting to do something that turns my brain on and I don't feel like redirecting or doing all the work to get him to introspect and communicate (this is no small task itself, but that's another post!). I just want him to behave. He needs to know that at some point, I am going to snap, but there's no safe way to do that right now.
Thanks for all of your support! I love this community!