She's begun to take any frustration- say, we're unable to immediately drop everything and meet her demands- with enormous sobs and flailing upon the floor. It's all very stagy, and completely unlike her genuine tears. But she'll keep doing it for a hour.
Combine this with actively resisting listening when we try and address her sobing theatrics with anything but concession (or when we're trying to get her to stop putting oatmeal on the dog). She'll ignore, and if you get right up in her face, make eye contact, hold her lovingly but firmly she'll cackle hysterically right in your face. It's as far from her real laughter as the crying is from her real crying. It's like a knife dragged along my spine, and then stuck into my patience and wiggled violently back and forth.
We've tried waiting to let her tire herself out with the crazies, and that doesn't really work.
We're fallen far from the true path with in our desperation to get her to listen when we need her to do something, and have regularly been coercing her by taking things she values away until she complies. This threat and action are the only thing that make her listen to us when she's feeling this way. I HATE doing this, but we're scratching bottom.
Today she started the morning off at 5AM by howling demands for things, and refusing to go back to sleep (despite really needing it). We get three hours of total freakout. Huge theatrical tears, manic leaping around, very calculated defiance ("Don't jump off the sofa onto the dog, please" was met with that very action), weeping and dramatics when we saved the dog from being squished.
It's like this perfect storm of her natural spiritedness (which, as much as it infuriates me, also makes me incredibly proud of her), complete lack of patience, need to challenge boundaries, and what seems like a calculated strategy to drive us absolutely mad with relentless aggressive whining.
Its likely a stage- we've had rough patches before- but I've never been so close to spanking her as I was this morning. I was spanked pretty frequently, and caught myself in replay mode, and had to go lock myself in the bedroom away from her for awhile. Not a good feeling.
How do we address this in an AP way?