I'm pleased to announce that the bastard has calmed down a little. I still don't know what made him so cranky - could be his teeth, could be some invisible illness, could be growing pains - but he has stopped throwing himself on the floor at school, and has become somewhat more cooperative at home.
I'm hoping the past few weeks have been one of those steps backward before he takes a big leap forward; that sort of thing happens a lot here, but it rarely lasts more than a few days. This week, Ryan has done a few new things that give me hope that this is what's going on. Lately, when a train rumbles past our building, Ryan will actually go to the window and look at the train - he's noticing something that's happening in the world and paying attention to it. I've tried to build on this by asking "Which way is the train going?" but he hasn't answered yet.
And yesterday, he did something truly unprecedented: he announced, "I gotta pee." He has never, ever informed me that he needed to go to the bathroom. This is huge. This is a call-Stu-at-work sort of event.
So maybe we've just been experiencing the storm before the calm. Let's hope. Because now that my derby league is on hiatus for two months, I can't just hit people at the end of a stressful day. Any more of Evil Ryan and things could get really ugly around here.
PS - thank you all for your suggestions on how to deal with the Bastard Behavior. Wine and earplugs are a mom's best friends.