Hi there, I've been searching for days and finally found some parents who might understand. I can't tell you how comforting this is. It has been a very difficult three and a half years for our family. I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy (despite struggling the second time around) with our son and although we were scheduled for another c-section (our first was an emergency and we didn't want a repeat), I actually went into labor the night before, which was reassuring because he was ready to meet us! From the very beginning, our little guy was a fussy baby. Smiled VERY late (our doctor was super concerned about this) and even when he did smile, he was never a very giggly, smiley baby. Very stoic. We always described him as wise beyond his years--almost like baby Stewie from Family Guy--as though he were a mini-adult in a baby body. Never interested in toys, always went for wires, electronics, remotes, boxes, anything that wasn't a toy. Seemed pissed that he weren't a grown up almost. Great sleeper though, which has been an absolute life saver, especially now with all the challenges. As a toddler, James was extraordinarily clingy to me. I couldn't talk, cook, work or anything else without him crying or needing to be held. He had a random cough that lasted the entire first year of his life--literally couldn't get rid of it. We thought it was asthma, allergies, pneumonia--and we tried everything to get it to go away. Inhalers, breathing treatments, steroids, etc. Nothing worked and eventually it just stopped. Doctor visits were terrible because James always freaked out moreso than normal so my pediatrician has always been a bit concerned about him. She could never get him to smile, he was a late talker, etc. I always figured he just hated the doctor's office. These days, I'm struggling with hyperactive, defiant behavior. He's a ping pong ball, unconcerned with bodily harm (although sometimes very cautious--for example, will NOT go into the water for swimming lessons) but will sprint away from us at the airport (despite being on a leash backpack) and climb the turnstile and almost go through where the luggage dumps out. We can't get him to sit through a meal, he says NO to literally everything we say or ask, he is very difficult around our seven year old daughter (not that she's always peaches, but still), ruins her things, breaks toys, rips papers, etc. He has a wubble ball he got for Easter that he loves (one of the few toys) and I found him down the basement with his plastic screw driver trying to pop it for some reason. He's destructive--rips books, colors on clothing and furniture. Today in church he coughed on my daughter on purpose. We typically avoid places like church because I leave feeling so defeated. I've noticed some sensory type issues--he smells everything before he eats it, always has--and also smells clothes, me, people's breath, underwear. Yep. He hates when I vacuum and complains about the pool water being freezing when it's somewhat warm. Hot water is burning when it's normal. Last weekend was a real low because he kicked the back of a man's seat the entire flight home from Easter. I was humiliated and felt powerless. I cried silently trying to figure out what to do. He's a great sleeper though and was very easy to potty train. He also talks a mile a minute and always has something to say. Loves to be outside. Loves to be read to--but the same books over and over. Loves the iPad--if we let him on it. In my heart of hearts I know he's a more challenging three year old than most. He seems very unhappy the majority of the time. We've been waiting for him to grow out of all of this, but it just seems to be getting worse. Oh, and you would think we've never disciplined or given positive reinforcement in his life the way he acts. All I do is read parenting books, try different strategies and attempt to be patient. I feel like a complete failure. Phew. I needed to get that all out.