My 2 year old son seems to go through difficult periods that last weeks every few months. He's been doing this since he was in infant.
He's been a demon for the past few weeks. It seems that he has days when he wakes up intending to piss us off--and he succeeds very early in the day! He starts doing everything he knows he shouldn't while looking at us to verify that we're watching. He'll hit us and other children, throw toys, put stuff in his mouth (something he doesn't do that much anymore), try to draw on walls, etc. Lately he's started throwing food for the purpose of angering us.
We usually do time outs as punishment, but in this phase they don't work. Instead of sitting in the time out corner he'll run out screaming with joy, knowing that he'll be chased and put back. He even tells us how funny it is to him. We don't have a pack-and-play to put him in, and I don't want to put him in his crib for punishments.
When he throws/eats crayons, we take them away. When he throws other toys he shouldn't be throwing, we take those away. He's unconcerned and moves on to the next activity he knows he shouldn't be doing--there is an endless supply of those.
There are days when I feel like I've only yelled at him for hours, so I end up trying to read to him, something we both like doing and one activity that doesn't usually end badly. However, we can't read all day, and sometimes he doesn't want to because he'd rather be pissing me off than sitting quietly with a book.
Any advice? Can you tell me where I might purchase a toddler-sized straight jacket? ;-)