With the addition of baby Mae it is not surprising that Theo's behaviour has taken a sharp turn for the worst. It has really thrown me, to have my sweet, energetic boy become a bit of a terror on a regular basis, with most of his anger directed at me. So though we hope this is a phase we are looking at all the ways we interact with him to see if we can curb any of this bad behaviour. One way is to simplify his toy collection.
At one point in time we were very diligent with his toy collection, keeping it to a minimum and quite organized. But as he and his interests have grown, it's gotten a bit more difficult to keep toys contained.
We recently did a test... we packed away his bin of trains and cars leaving him with only 3 trains and enough track for a circle. We watched amazed as day after day, he played imaginative play with this small amount of toys. This was a break from his usual routine of dumping out all his trains in his room and then leaving, bored, to create chaos elsewhere. This exercise confirmed what we initially thought and is explained in detail in the book Simplicity Parenting. Too many toys/options is overwhelming for kids and simplifying and minimizing their options opens up room for play and imagination.
Over the next few weeks we plan to hide, donate and lend out the majority of his toys to create the calm space he needs to play. I admit this is harder than it sounds as many of his toys are thoughtful gifts from family and friends so it feels rude or insensitive to part with them. I'll let you know how I manage to reconcile this... I haven't yet.