Dylan hasn't been listening. At all. Especially at night. Or when he is hungry. Or when he doesn't get his way. Or when Cody is crying. Or when Cody is sleeping. Do you get my drift?
So, in order to combat this little problem, we have started a Marble Jar. Dylan gets to put new marbles into his jar when he listens and does what he is told, or if he does something nice for his family. He has to take marbles out of his jar if he doesn't listen or is being naughty. Then, when there are enough marbles in the jar, we will take him to Target for a new, special toy. This has been working pretty well, but he seems to earn more marbles in the morning, and then loses the majority of them in the evening.
These exchanges between he and I during the course of the evening would cause Mother Theresa to lose her cool, but I am sincerely trying to work with him with patience and a quiet voice. Of course, I would love to yell and scream (and possibly break something), but that wouldn't accomplish anything. Trust me, I know. The breakdown of his "good-boy psyche" starts about 6 o'clock, and doesn't end until he shuts his little peepers. Drives his dad crazy. Exhausts the hell out of me.
In time, this phase will pass, and he will go back to being the little boy that we remember. I keep trying to remind myself that this is what 3 year old little boys do - test the limits and the endurance of everyone around him. We will look back at this blip in time, and laugh about him running around the house completely naked for 45 minutes because he didn't want to put his pants back on, or having me chase him around the kitchen table until I am dizzy to avoid going to bed for the evening.