I blew up at my son last night. We were visiting my Father-in-law and my two kids went haywire. He was a great at dinner where his little sister was the trouble maker. He was good on the way back to his grandpa's place, even though he wanted me to site by him when I had to drive. But when we got back they both got completely out of control. If he could have just stopped when the little girl got a time-out the night would have ended well for him. But he just had to push it a little further.
My son has an odd bit of behavior where he laughs when he's scared that he's in trouble. This usually has the effect of his mistakes looking like malicious behavior. Of course, he also laughs when he's afraid he's getting in trouble for behavior that is malicious. He usually can't get himself under control unless something startling snaps him out of his state of mind.
That brings us to last night. His sister and he were jumping around their grandpa's apartment screaming their heads off despite warnings that they were breaking the rules (that they knew so well) and would be punished. At one point it was clear that they were spiraling out of control and needed to be removed. My wife vetoed this move since she wanted to stay and see the end of the game. She always does this, so it was no surprise (I'm not sure why I repeat this crazy behavior since it always comes to the same outcome - maybe I will learn some new tricks someday). She did, after blocking me on a number discipline threats (games privileges withdrawn - she declared was off limits, toys confiscated - she said was off the table), talk to my son and tell him to sit in one place. Well, he didn't follow through.
While my boy was getting a lecture from his mother, my daughter decided it was her duty to ramp up the destruction. I grabbed her and held her against "I promise!" pleas to be let go. This was ugly, and should have been a queue to exit; but my wife wanted to see the game, I wasn't willing to leave her behind, and I could only wrestle one child into their seat at a time anyway. So I was stuck there.
My son comes out having been told to sit in one spot. My wife didn't come out with him. So, instead of sitting down, he grabbed a soccer ball and threw it as hard as he could at the side of my head. Once the stars settled down, I told him to get his shoes on. Being six, he doesn't get his shoes on in the best of times. I help his get them on and tied them. He grabbed the door jam on the way out, but I extricated him, help him against the side of the vehicle as I opened the door, and buckled him in his seat. Then came the long wait and the secondary misbehavior.
Inside, I sat w/ him laughing and yelling while I loudly explained that I was angry and he was acting horribly. He pushed further. Games and toys were threatened, but he wasn't buying it. When his hitting the window and howling prompted me to pickup his current favorite toy and move toward a nearby trashcan, he snapped out of it. I asked him why he didn't find his own unhappiness funny, but could laugh at other's. He didn't have an answer. He's six.
I need to find a way of correcting his behavior. I need to find it fast.