I've had this struggle going on with The Boy. It's really my own struggle, not his; he's just struggling with me because he's 3. I've felt like he saves his most ridiculous trash for me and heaps it on me more so than his other primary caregivers. And, in exchange, he picks me as a distant third to them, "them" being Musical Daddy and Grandma.
It was a pleasant day today, because I think he and I were in good spirits and relating a little better. Most of the struggles that I expected to have with him, I didn't have. When it was time to put down the game, go to the bathroom, and get in the car for physical therapy, he did it. When, after physical therapy, we went outside to play on the playground and I told him it was time to go, he listened. He did complain in the early evening when he wanted to go outside and we wouldn't take him, because Daddy had to leave for rehearsal and I was in the middle of making dinner, but I didn't feel like he was dishing all of it out on me.
This evening, we tried something new--we went to a playground that is normally in walking distance, but we drove so that we could throw the tricycles in the trunk. Meatball isn't really interested in it yet, but The Boy has been working really hard in physical therapy, but it's really not that easy for him to practice the skill on his own because all we have is sidewalk in front of the house. Next time, we can probably just bring the one trike and not need to drive. I was proud of him because he really rode that tricycle around well and, again, he didn't give me any crap when it was time to go to the playground and time to leave there.
When we returned home, I said "hands in the sink before we eat and drink" and the kids washed their hands. They had some fruit, and then they took a bath. Slight complaining but no real resistance, no hitting, nothing too bad. I also had the boys put the bath toys in the bucket so that I could actually have the tub clear and the bath mat properly hung. They were great about it. When it was time for bed, The Boy didn't complain at all about doing "potty and teeth" and going for stories. We did three stories, and at the end of the third, he wanted to read it himself. Then, he asked for another story. Opened the collection of stories to one about Finding Nemo. Complete with "please." I acquiesced, because he had been so very agreeable all day, also having this feeling that he'd be asleep about halfway into the story. And I was right.
I feel so much better when most of my interactions with The Boy make me smile. He's so cute and so sweet. I'm going to try and do whatever it was that I did today, so that hopefully we can keep having these sorts of days.