Okay. So, part of the reason why, even though Davan is/was a challenging kid but I still love her and am willing to work with/around her is reciprocating love. Absolutely. This I knew.
What I knew subconsciously, but hadn't really put into words about why it's different, though, is that Davan wants what she wants the way she wants it because it (whatever it may be) is important to her for some reason. I may not agree with the reason, but it's there and big for her. This is hard, but I can live with it and even respect it.
Max, on the other hand, wants what he wants because it makes life more difficult for us. For example. He has both gel and lotion to apply for dry skin. The gel is for after his bath, as it's supposed to be good to put on when slightly damp. The lotion is for non-bath nights. Max started making a big deal out of wanting to put gel on all the time because the lotion is cold/makes him itch/hurts/whatever. So, we decided that he could just use the gel. No big deal. This was after sticking with the lotion for a while.
This evening, we announce to him that he should feel free to go ahead and use the gel even though he hasn't showered. "But will you still buy lotion for me?"
"Not if you're only using gel."
"But what if I want to use lotion?"
"Max. Use the lotion or the gel. If you run out, we'll get more. We don't care which one you use."
He used the lotion. So. Was the issue really the lotion? No. It was control. Max wants what he wants because he wants control.
Why was it okay for Davan's bedroom to be messy when she was younger (She keeps it quite neat now.) but not okay for Max to have a messy bedroom? Because for Davan, it was about playing and not wanting to put a set up away because she wanted to go back to it later. The messy bedroom still bothered me, but there were reasons. But for Max, it's because he wants the control. He doesn't even go in there to play - unless it's to shoot hoops (he has an indoor hoop). But, he'll go in and mess it up. Because he wants the control.