I know others have gone through similar circumstances--I would *really* appreciate any help/advice/thoughts/comments. Sorry this is so long.
My son is almost 26 months and I had a new baby 2 months ago, right when he turned 2. He has always been bright, verbal, playful, super social, and happy, and hasn't exhibited anything developmentally that we, or any of his daycare providers, ever thought was concerning. I think his energy level is pretty typical. He is also unbelievably stubborn and defiant and can be really difficult and throw tantrums when you're trying to get him to do something he doesn't want to do.
The daycare issue: he's at a great, small center that we love with 2 teachers and 12 kids ages 1.5-3. A few days ago the director of our daycare told me she thought he might have a hearing problem and to go get it checked out, because he wasn't hearing them when they told him to do something, like go outside (which he loves). He constantly points out airplane sounds and sirens that are barely audible so I don't think that's it, I think he's just blatantly ignoring their instruction because he doesn't want to comply. I brought up the hearing thing again at drop-off today and she told me she had been watching him closely and she agreed it probably wasn't his hearing, but that his behavior had been totally out of control for the past 3-4 weeks and they are having too hard of a time dealing with him, and if he doesn't improve they won't be able to keep him. Apparently he just doesn't listen to instruction and basically only goes along with the group if he feels like it, and is frequently ruining group activities for everyone else by just ignoring the teachers and then shrieking and throwing tantrums if pressed to do the activity (like, eat at mealtimes, participate in circle time or birthday parties). When they go on walks only one of the teachers can take him because the other can't control him, and they make him walk in a certain position because they don't trust him not to run out in the street. I completely see how all of this would happen there because he ignores ME constantly and pitches fits sometimes (not always) when he doesn't get his way.
The director told me to take him to the doctor to get checked out, which I'm doing next week, and she suggested that maybe he wasn't getting enough attention at home with the new baby--I seriously don't know how it's possible for us to give him more attention, during waking hours all we do is play with him and we've made a point to have lots of special one-on-one time dates with him since the baby was born. He's totally fine with the baby, too--no animosity at all. His only screen time is watching sesame street for 30 minutes every morning while we're eating breakfast and getting ready. I asked the director if she thought he might have a level of autism or ADHD and she instantly said no, that he didn't seem to exhibit those symptoms as she'd seen them in the past, but she still wants us to take him to the doctor. When I called for the appointment the receptionist was like, "well he's only two, it's too young for a behavioral issue".
My only idea is that he is going to bed too late and getting up too late (8:30pm-7:30am) and that it's screwing up his nap--I know he's not napping that well at daycare, either, which I'd resolved over the summer by waking him up earlier, like 6:30. Since I had the baby my husband has been in charge of his bedtime/waking, it got late again, and I think that could be fucking everything up. Other than getting on top of that, I really don't know what to do.
Do you think it's a discipline problem and we need to lay down the law more at home? Is it just a bad fit with this daycare (which btw he seems to love)? Or something else?