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Unfortunately for me, I find child-rearing absolutely mind-numbing. For the past 3.5 years I have smiled through gritted teeth, I have walked the floors, I have remained calm throughout all provocation, I have done absolutely everything by the book. But I'm suppressing my true nature in order to give him the best possible start in life and as a result I'm absolutely stressed out and exhausted.

My first reaction is what does your pediatrician say about your son's behavior?

My second reaction is "well, stop suppressing". (Okay, I'm not advocating drowning your kid in the toilet.) But maybe your son is so strong-willed and focused that, instead of getting bored and going away when you don't respond, he ups the ante. Maybe he's looking for some sign in you that you're a human being who feels and hurts and gets angry and gets sad and gets frustrated just like he does, rather than a Mommy machine? I know at 2 and a half, my child is a firestorm of emotions and frustration because he can't do and say and control to his satisfaction. And he is so focused and obstinant that he will force a tantrum regardless of what I do. We walk around our house chanting "we don't have to love him, we just have to not kill him" when he gets like that. But he's a perfect angel outside the house.

Just my $.02.

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