Quoting BrittysNifty:" <blockquote><b>Quoting motherofboys:</b>" My youngest son, who is now 4 has been quite ... [snip!] ... what's bothering him. He does say a good amount of words but nothing that could really help me understand what he is thinking."
It is so frustrating. I would not be surprised if he understands everything you are telling him, but is just unable to tell you what he wants. Look for his nonverbal cues as a clue to what may be bothering him, and always squat down to his level when talking with him, the increase in eye contact can be incredibly helpful in knowing if he is understanding you. Sometimes, what is needed is simply more sleep, or food, or just a change in environment. If he is being more cranky than usually, try laying down with him in a quiet dim room, or offering a snack, or a trip to the park. In fact, on cold rainy days, my boys always loved throwing on some rain gear to go splash in the puddles. Even if we could figure out what the cause of the emotional upheaval, going outside (no matter what the weather) was always the quickest and easiest form of distraction. It's okay to let our kids go out and get muddy, as long as we dress them in appropriate clothing, the weather doesn't matter that much. I've even taken my boys outside at night when they couldn't sleep, they loved exploring the farm in the darkness or simply admiring the stars.