Now I'm wondering if something is going on with him that we aren't fully aware of. I have read a lot about Autism and he doesn't have enough of the markers (he has always smiled, made eye contact, he plays pretend, can follow a series of directions, etc), but there's definitely something going on.
The kids were playing in the toy area for a few minutes and I gave them warnings before we left. We went to the store so I could buy picture frames and they both knew that. DS protested and stood in front of the cart. I told him he could either walk or ride in the cart, but he stood still, so I put him in the cart.
He then proceed to scream at the top of his lungs ALL THE WAY out of the store (like screech! screech! screech! etc). Now, this is a popular store based in Sweden which has a maze-like set up that you cannot just leave without zig-zagging through everything (I'm sure many of you are familiar).
I tried talking to him. I said we would come back and play soon. I tried facing him and telling him that I know he's upset, but other people are shopping and no one wants to hear screaming. I even tried covering his mouth for a second to snap him out of it.
Nothing worked. He LITERALLY screamed non stop for about 5 minutes (the time it took to walk from the toy area through the second half of the store and through the warehouse and checkout area to the car). I had 2 store employees approach me and ask if I needed help and I said there was really nothing I could do.
Everyone stared and one person told him to stop (not helpful).
He's got some sensory issues like severe food aversions and he was speech delayed. He talks fine now, but is obviously behind kids his age (he'll be 5 in Feb). DH said he did the screaming thing a few days ago when he was told they had to leave a park, but otherwise this behavior is new.
I'm disappointed with myself because I completely lost it and yelled at both of the kids after they were buckled in (DD was making things worse in the store by not getting out of the cart when I asked so I could carry DS who was jumping up and down in the cart while screaming). I have never in my life had either of my children behave like DS just did, nor have I ever seen another child do the same. Maybe a baby or a 2 year old, but my kid is almost 5.
It sounds to me like he is trying on a behavior to see if he can get something out of it. I don't know if he is going for attention or really thinks it will work or what, but honestly I don't think two times makes for a disorder.
If you have a mama-gut-feeling that something is off then I totally suggest that you get him evaluated. Otherwise, I think I'd personally draw myself a warm bath and try to vegetate and recouperate from it for a bit.
I know a very sensitive boy about that age that I could totally picture doing that. Not most days, and not all the time, but I can totally imagine him trying that out on his parents a couple of times to see how it would pan out.