I hope I didn't make you worry! I may have worded my post poorly. Sorry. 😟 When I say "struggling to cope" I don't necessarily mean with something big and worrisome. I think sometimes kids just struggle to cope with their own emotions, with not having control of their own lives, with being 3!
Does that make sense?
I know none of that makes their Jekyll and Hyde mode swings any easier to deal with but I guess it's just a way of looking at it that helps me not go straight to anger and frustration.
My dd isn't quite 2 so I'm definitely not a 3 year old expert by any means. However, I can imagine how with all of the behaviours you've listed you'd be having a rough time! Feel free to disregard this next suggestion, as I have no idea if it works, but I was reading somewhere the other day about acknowledging feelings for kids as way a of deescalating situations. To use one of your examples, if he's really upset at Childcare drop off, saying "I can see you're really sad that mummy has to go to work." before moving onto reassuring. I think I can see the logic in the theory because it helps them to feel that, even if they don't have control of the situation, they have been heard.
Ugh, I don't know if any of this helps at all. I think I'll just bow out now before I add more confusion to things.
Good luck @harvs. You're honestly one of my parenting heroes so I don't doubt that you'll make it through the threenager phase!