Please forgive me because this will be both long and garbled. I'm looking for any insights into DS's behaviour since Easter. He's just gone 3.5 and his behaviour has changed significantly. At the moment I'm trying to suss out which things are age-related, which are quirks of his personality, and which may be cause for concern and need monitoring. I'm also thinking maybe some behaviours are peer or diet related although I'm not sure how these could come on suddenly.
Also may be relevant - last weekend (ie not just gone but the one before) he stayed in Adelaide with his dad and nanna for a night. He's done this before but has always coped just fine, but it was at least a month since the last time. At handover he was extremely distressed when he left with his dad and also when he left with me to come home again.
The last two weeks of school were a little disruptive with parent teacher interviews etc as well.
I also recently have been reading that even when toddlers drop their day nap they still need one every now and then to 'catch up'. I'm really reluctant to do this because if he naps in the day he is awake until at least 10pm, so this shortens his overnight sleep considerably. But I'm wondering if some of this is general exhaustion. He has had a bad cold for about 10 days as well.
Ok. Here goes:
Sudden extreme separation anxiety ie clinging to me and crying at cc drop off, needing to 'look at me' when he's going to sleep.
Random waking episodes at night (2 hours plus) maybe twice a week.
Talking of dreaming about monsters and fear of monsters.
Violent and angry talk ie chopping my head off, hating people etc.
Extremely volatile during the day.
Gets distressed when his routine is disturbed. For example when he makes his bottle, if I take it out of the microwave he gets angry and makes me put it back in so that he can take it out himself.
Hitting me when he's angry.
Tantrums if things aren't exactly as he wants. Yesterday I took him to a playground but it was the 'wrong one'. I couldn't for the life of me work out where he actually wanted to go!
Whingeing and complaining/sulking and refusing to comply.
Being generally oppositional - saying his car his red when it's blue for example, and being quite insistent.
Throwing things when he's upset.
Pushing buttons/pushing boundaries. This seems hilarious to him until he receives a consequence. Then the anger starts.
Generally low resilience.
Now that I write this all down, it seems minor, but in combination I'm finding it very challenging. I can't physically give him more positive attention than I have been, and it's draining me.
My mum has visited for the weekend, and she thinks that he is very angry about something. I tend to agree but it's hard to tell what exactly. Is there such a thing as paediatric psychiatrist?
So, help me please! What am I missing?