My family doesn't believe me since Asher was so well behaved when we visited in Texas, but Asher is a humongous trouble-maker. He really does seek out trouble after trouble after trouble sometimes. Other times, he's an angel. I think some of that trouble-seeking is just his personality. He's just a mischievous little boy. But I think a big chunk of that trouble-seeking is his feeling neglected and therefore seeking attention. He was, after all, replaced as "the baby" at the ripe age of 13 months. So he's got a chip on his shoulder for a good reason.
I've really struggled with how to deal with him, as any reader of this blog knows. In the last few months I have focused on not reacting too large when he misbehaves and on giving extra attention. One thing that really seems to be working for both of us is "tickling the trouble out". Instead of freaking out and being upset, I go tickle Asher for a good minute. He gets totally distracted from whatever trouble he was making, he gets one minute of one-on-one-Mommy-time, and he uses some energy rolling around and laughing. I get to see his wonderful smile that melts my hard heart to goo, and I get a little physical frustration out too. By the end of that minute we're both feeling better and we can move on with life.
I wonder if this would work with a spouse, too?