I have been having a really hard time with my son, just turned four, of late. We have been through a lot of changes as a family in the last year (new baby, two moves, two new countries, concentrated and intense (and lovely!) time with grandparents and now none at all, new preschool...), but I am finding day to day life with him really difficult right now.
Mainly I am frustrated by the tears/tantrums over things that can't be predicted or helped or what seems to me very much like fight-picking or button-pushing over similar issues.
As an example, today he rode his scooter to the park, zooming all the way there and quite a bit while we were in the park. On the way back, it was a busy time in our neighborhood and he had to go very slowly. As soon as we turned into our alleyway, he started crying, "I wanted go speedy! I wanted go speedy all the way home!" I explain, it was crowded, I am sorry you can't always go as fast as you want to, and his refrain changes to "I want be ahead of you!" And commands of "Go back there!" so that he will get to our gate first. More "I wanted go speedy" cries and then when I suggest he can do a speedy up-and-back on the flat pavement behind our building before we go inside, he replies with "I want go back and forth TWO times!" More tears and shrieking when I say, "No, just once." Still more crying when it really is time to go inside and he's crying, "I don't want go inside!"
I know there's a lot going on here - he wants to be in control of his movements and loves going fast. He was tired at the time this happened, I was anxious to get the baby inside for a nap. But there's a lot of this happening lately, tears and shrieking and screaming over things that can't be helped ("I wanted pears!" when there are none or "I wanted my red pyjamas!" when he's already wearing the green ones and the red ones are in the wash or "I wanted The Gruffalo!" when we've already read our allotment of bedtime stories and it's time for lights out.). And it's wearing me out, making me not like spending time with him, leaving me at a loss as to how to handle these situations.