Punkin has always been a light-hearted kid. Even when he melts into rage, he can bounce back extremely quickly. As he's growing older, though, the meltdowns have sometimes become more difficult to manage as he's bigger, stronger, and a bit more prone to becoming stuck in his emotion.
Simply put, it's hard. It just sucks. It sucks to not know how to help him, to not be able to predict when we'll be able to go out in public and be successful and when we won't, and it sucks knowing that he can seriously hurt himself and others when he's upset.
I'd say that 75% of the time he is aggressive because he isn't using his words, not that he doesn't have them. He has the words, he can say the sentences, but when it comes down to the heat of the moment, he loses all of those skills and relies on some pretty combative body language.
20% of the time he's just angry that he isn't getting his way, which is what's going to happen the next time we go to the toy store. See, in the past we've always been able to walk through the aisles and play with the toys and then leave. But the last time we went to look for Halloween costumes, he fussed and tugged at my arm until we reached a Disney/Pixar Wonderland and discovered a Mac truck, actually Mac the Truck, from Cars. Ya.
"I hold it."
"No toys today."
"I hold it, Mom?"
"Put it back. Let's go."
"Mmm. I hold it."
"I hold it?"
It was a quiet persistence complete with giant saucer eyes, and I gave in citing the fact that I wasn't buying a costume that day (so I'm not buying one ever?) and that he really needed it for his set of Lightening McQueen cars that he's become rather attached to lately. COMPLETELY logical, right?
So ya. The next time we go to the store should be interesting. I envision hitting, kicking, yelling, toys flying off the shelves, me restraining him so that strangers can pass by unharmed. You know, the usual stuff. I might just go ahead and set it up the next time I feel thick-skinned and energetic to get it over with.
And the other 5% of the time? He's apparently turned into the kid who cries when mom leaves and I CAN'T HANDLE IT. He tries to be so brave; his bottom lip quivers and his eyes fill with tears as he says, "Bye, Mom. Love you," and then he just breaks down. And I have to give him extra hugs and kisses and then leave before I break down. Honestly, I think I prefer when he's pissed off. I can't handle sad.