I know why it's happening, though. He's trying to answer my question nonverbally: taking his answer as a given, and then going and doing as he's told. He's not intending to be rude. He's intending to be obedient, but skips the step where he gives a verbal answer and obtains the signal that the verbal conversation is over and he should now obey orders. It's going to be a bit of a stretch -- he's also lately been hearing only what he wants to hear (as well as seeing only what he wants to see at some points), as well as when you tell him not to do something when he's about to do it, and he does it first anyway, and then and only then hears you. Yaaagh. I've told him already that he needs to wait to hear all of the instructions before he proceeds. He's gotten better about the "Do Y after you X" thing (he used to do Y first, and then X, because of the conversational order); it's just yet another stage to go through.
I called him on it, reminded him to use his words for the answer, don't just answer without words and walk away, use his words to answer. And because Marx was having such trouble with him on the issue, I had to send him to the corner for a short time for walking away when he was supposed to answer using his words.
A number of the other walk-away things have been nonverbal "Okay, I hear you, and I'm going to do as you say immediately" things, I think. He's given to doing that.
Today's thing was over dessert: I told him that he might have a popsicle, a piece of candy, or he could sit for a while and think of something else that he wanted and suggest it to me after he thought of something. He turned around and walked into the living room. I caught him and asked him what exactly he was doing. "Going, sitting." "Oh, to think about it?" And then we had our discussion of using the words instead of just going and doing.
He makes sense to me, at least.
Someday after he forgives me for writing all this stuff down, I think he may be pleased to have such a complete record of my viewpoint of these bits of his childhood. I think that I should like to hear what Mama had to say about my development. It could save me frustration on my own, if I were able to compare her memories and mine, because I can remember some of it from the inside.