Somehow in the last few weeks the boys had converging phases of difficulty that managed to overwhelm all our parental patience and skill some evenings. Henry continues to be defiant and sassy and we were struggling with epic MAD meltdowns that were just spiraling out of control. Even though we were setting timers, giving him warnings before transitions, he just couldn't handle it when a favorite activity was curtailed. We finally decided that a serious contributing factor was video games before bed. He just seemed to be unable to control himself when he got upset about having to stop and we endured a few hour long tantrum/meltdowns before we banned video game to weekend afternoons. He's no sweet angel all the time but so far so good on the utter meltdown messes we had endured. He's been doing well at school and he got "twenty thumbs up" from his babysitter last night so i know he saves the really juicy bits of naughtiness for us.
Silas just about did us in there for a bit. We got locked in an epic power-struggle over seating arrangements for meals. As it turns out Silas is possibly more stubborn (hard-headed as they say at school) than any of the rest of us. He very clearly did not want to sit in his booster seat to eat meals anymore. He wanted to sit in the regular chairs which he can get himself up and down from on his own now. This would be all fine and good, and we do let him sit in the chairs to read books or play at the table, but he's constantly standing up in them testing us and has fallen off more than once. It's essentially impossible to let him eat dinner in the chair without him making a serious mess and most likely impaling himself on a plastic spoon.
As the days wore on i tried to make a tea party with stuffed animals in all the other seats, i switched the placement of his seat with mine, nothing worked. The first night he got so upset and couldn't calm down that he just asked to go to bed-- sans dinner. The second night he finally did calm down and sit in his chair but only after we gave him his pacifier and baby. On the third day JT had the idea of resurrecting the little table and chairs. It's not been a perfect solution-- we now have to constantly get Silas to sit back down until he's done eating. But at least for now we're not losing our minds over the iron will of someone that doesn't reach our knee caps.