I'm so floored by what my 3 1/2 yr old just said to me, that I can't even totally recall the entire conversation word for word, but basically here's what happened. M started the Summer program at his theraputic school today, so C and I were alone until about 3:15 pm today. As a contrast to most days lately, we actually had a really nice day! He was pleasant to be around, I didn't have to raise my voice at all, and he even used the potty all day and only had one accident in his pull-up! Of course, he had his little issues here and there...but it was managable. Then M came home. We played a new card game together (all three of us) and C increasingly was becoming his defiant, mischivous, violent self. Putting his hands over M's mouth, coming from behind me and pulling hard on my throat (essentially choking me), throwing pillows at us to upset us, throwing our brand new cards behind the couch, destroying M's things and throwing those behind the couch, etc. Eventually, he took a bag of Pirates Booty (a snack food) and dumped the bag of crumbs all over M's face, getting crumbs in his eyes. Of course, I immediately dragged C off to time out (which, of course I always feel like why do I bother because it has NO effect on future behaviors) and afterwards, I proceeded to do our routine of processing the event with C. I asked him why he was in time out and he said because he dumped the Pirates Booty on M. Then I went on to explain that this was NOT OK because M got hurt, and yadda, yadda, yadda, and THIS is what my child says to me... "I LIKE TO HURT PEOPLE. IT MAKES ME FEEL HAPPY." I just looked at him. I wanted to cry. My 3 1/2 yr old LIKES to hurt people. It makes him feel happy. I don't even know what to make of it. I just want to RUN to the psychiatrist's office and scream HELP right now, but our first appointment with the therapist isn't for a couple of weeks yet. I blinked, and then went on to explain about how being hurt doesn't make other people feel happy and that M wasn't feeling very happy right now. (I fully understand that my 3 1/2 yr old probably can't grasp empathy, but I'll lay the groundwork anyway) Then I told him that there are OTHER ways to feel happy and I asked him what else makes him happy...he said "Playing," so I said next time he wants to feel happy, to please ask me to play instead of hurting somebody. Ah well, at least I had SOMETHING to say in response to his comment. I was just totally floored. I don't know...it's one thing to look at M and know that when he's raging, he's feeling out of control and he doesn't like to be that way...and even then, he wouldn't purposely hurt a fly...but to look at C and to think...Oh my gosh...these are choices...he is enjoying this...hurting people and animals gives him pleasure...and he knows it and can ARTICULATE IT...and with a speech delay to boot!