I had thought it was easier because I had been through that stage. It was simply different because X was of a different character. By now, he was having an average of 8 self-restricted tantrums a day.
He knew throwing a tantrum was wrong but he could not resist so. He had problem controlling his emotions. He did not recognize when he was whining or talking. He was a perfectionist at heart. Once he set his mind on a certain thing or way, he disregarded everything else as wrong or improper and would get very upset.
It was both a blessing and a curse to have a perfectionistic streak. One, he could be very driven and self-motivated, evident in the way he swam, took feedback to correct his strokes and the constant need to hone his skills. It could be bad because he was imposing expectations of an unread mind onto us.
It was more good than bad. I enjoyed his persistence and determination. In that sense, I found him fun to parent. When it tilted to stubbornness, well, it was another story.
For now, I would just be appreciative of the swim training X imposed on his tiny self.