Nick has had some pretty bad afternoons lately. Not really sure what was or is causing it, but he just comes unhinged. There is only so much screaming, throwing, and slamming one person can take. I have been trying something new recently just to get through to him my dislike of his behavior....I have been making him do some vaccuum time. He screams and throws something on the floor, I tell him "Ok, let's get the vacuum" and hold his hand while I vacuum. At this point, I was fresh out of ideas and decided to go for the shock value. We had started to see some improvement, but he was still "acting up" quite a bit. (If it was still quite a bit AFTER the vacuum, imagine what it was BEFORE..) So yesterday, I yelled at him. I told him that behavior was not acceptable and I was not going to tolerate it. He is not to slam doors, throw things, or just scream. He was in the middle of a complete meltdown by this point because I would not just leave him alone...so he was also hitting by this point in the midst of screaming. Well, I yelled at him even more sternly and told him hitting was NOT acceptable either.
A few minutes later he was done. There was no more crying, no more screaming, just me talking to him. He was looking right at me with an apologetic look. Without prompting, he stepped forward and put his cheek next to mine. We hugged. For a long time. No words were necessary. He was sorry. I was sorry. I told him I loved him and that he is a good boy. We got through the rest of the evening without incident. As I was tucking him in bed, he looked at me, and said without prompt "Goodnight Mommy". Those two words have never meant so much. For all the mothers out there wondering if their child knows who they are, they KNOW. Don't think for one second otherwise.