We had an altercation last night around bed time.
The nighttime routine is he takes a bath & gets his PJs on, then he plays some games on my phone, then we read books, then its time for sleeping.
We were getting ready to play some Plants vs Zombies (a game he likes directing while I do the grunt work) when he started making a really, really annoying noise right in my ear. Which is a thing he's been doing lately, for whatever reason. I asked him to stop, and he kept it up as if I hadn't spoken. I asked again, with less consideration, and he ignored me again.
So I handed him the phone, got up and headed for the door.
And he started to cry and threw the phone at the wall.
In the ensuing....discussion, I retrieved the phone, stated emphatically he wouldn't be playing any more games that night and left him in the bedroom.
Now, I know this is not ideal parenting.
But with kids whatever situation you find yourself in is never only about that situation, it's about everything that's ever happened between you. My getting pissed off about the noise in my ear wasn't entirely about what he was doing, or even about being ignored, it was about every time he's pretended not to hear me to find out what happens, about it being the end of a long day, and it was about things that have nothing to do with Fuss, like my intense dislike of anyone whispering or talking in my ear (which is also why I hate talking on the phone).
So I'm in the living room fuming, and he's in the bedroom crying and Tiner is on the couch wondering how she ended up with such a pair of intransigent kooks.
After a bit we both calmed down, and he wandered into the living room and sat tentatively next to me on the couch. After a silent while he offered "Dada, I threw the phone because I was mad at you."
"Do you remember why I got up?"
"Because I wouldn't stop making that noise."
"Yeah, you weren't being a good listener."
We sat for a bit more.
"You can't have the phone, but how about we go back in the room and play a few games before books?"
So we finished our aborted game of Plants vs. Zombies, read a stack of books and went to bed, the evening salvaged.