Well, the defiant cycle continues. I thought it started Monday night when the boy wouldn't get off the potty to get ready for bed and my timer business ticked him off. As I thought back, I saw that he had trouble leaving preschool Monday--not putting his coat on and zipping it as the teacher had directed; instead, staying involved in a dinosaur he was drawing for a classmate (N is an incredible artist). Anyhoo, he has been nothing but rude, recalcitrant, weepy, screamy, and threatening, and it continues today. Typically, he does fine at school, so fingers crossed that this behavior does not begin to bleed into that. I feel like I'm just coming on here daily to vent about things that are too touchy to mention to my family and friends ("you need to give him what for"), but that aren't extreme enough--I fear--to seem important to most of the people on this list who are often dealing with heart-wrenching scenarios. But my heart remains wrenched as my boy screams from his bed five minutes before my alarm goes off, and the day gets worse from there. He seems to be catching a cold. Is this a trigger of harder defiance? He spent a bit too much time on a new video game yesterday. Is this exacerbating it? I have to say husband and I are doing a pretty good job of keeping our cool with him, and I truly do feel sorry for the boy. He seems so out of sorts. But this can't continue every day, right? There is no enjoyment in life this way. For anyone. How many days need to go by before I call the pediatrician for a referral? He has his days like this, but then there is respite for us all. But I well remember the last long cycle, which was in the fall during a 10-day bout of penecillin for strep throat. We thought the illness and the food dyes in the medications were setting him off. I've been extra careful with his diet since then, and the episodes have decreased. But those 10 days nearly put us all in the loony bin. I'm not looking forward to even one more day of this as I'm already very depressed. I can't get my part-time job done because he is taking so much of my time and energy. And he is being rude to his little sister and seemingly not being punished for it (or else the consequence also affects her negatively). He did apologize to her and me this morning, in a fleeting moment of clarity. He cried on my lap as we waited for Dad to put him in the car and drive him to preschool. Sigh. Thank you for reading if you got this far.